The comeback of Kermit the Frog and company continues in silly but fine form with “Muppets Most Wanted.”
The movie begins immediately after the end of its 2011 predecessor (“The Muppets”) with the appropriately titled number “We’re Doing a Sequel.” While Dr. Bunsen Honeydew correctly points out that this is actually the eighth Muppets feature film, “Most Wanted” is a direct follow-up to their well-received comeback film of three years ago.
And as the lyrics point out, sequels usually aren’t as good as their predecessors — but in this case it’s close enough. “Muppets Most Wanted” is likely to please Muppet fans of all ages.
Riding high on the success of their last performance, the Muppets are approached by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), a promoter who wants to launch the group on a world tour. Kermit (Steve Whitmire) is hesitant — especially when Dominic seems to be replacing him as leader — but at his friends’ urging he agrees to go along.
It turns out the frog should have trusted his instincts, for Dominic is actually working for Constantine (Matt Vogel), a brilliant thief and the world’s most dangerous frog. Constantine has escaped from a gulag in Siberia and has a scheme to use the Muppets’ world tour as a staging area for a series of heists.
For you see, Constantine is a dead ringer for Kermit — aside from a mole on his cheek that is easily covered by makeup. While in Germany, Constantine slaps a fake mole on Kermit then alerts the authorities. Kermit is captured and sent to the gulag, which is run by Nadya (Tina Fey).
The tour continues with none of the Muppets aware of the switch– although something smells funny to Animal (Eric Jacobson). Constantine commits a robbery at every stop, which leads to an investigation by CIA agent Sam the Eagle (Jacobson) and Interpol inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell).
“Muppets Most Wanted” features all the trademarks of Muppet movies — silly jokes, sly humor, dozens of celebrity cameos, witty songs and a sickeningly sweet message to wrap it all up. Muppet movies don’t veer from that formula, but as long as the jokes and songs and stories are fun and connect with the audience, Disney will keep ordering them.