I adored the 2011 revival of The Muppets. Indeed, there are many times when I have been singing along to the film’s soundtrack in the car on the way to work. So you think I would have been delighted by the news of the sequel.
Sadly this delight was short lived when the announcement of marmite actor and comedian Ricky Gervais was to be the film’s human lead.
Thankfully, my fears were relieved and this film, which sees The Muppets embroiled in an international crime caper while on tour throughout Europe is a joy to watch.
Starting with Gervais, a quick Google of his name will reveal that his casting was controversial. It’s not secret, mainly thanks to the character’s terribly corny name, that he is the bad guy.
But among the very over the top performance from The Muppets themselves, alongside the other main human characters in the film, Gervais shows there is more to him by playing the straight man. It’s a deliberately unpretensious performance.
It contrasts perfectly with the other human performers. Ty Burrell, star of American sitcom Modern Family, plays the most stereotyped of Interpol police officers and is delightful in his brief role.
Another American sitcom star, 30 Rock’s Tina Fey plays the Nadya, a Russian prison guard who’s Russian accent is strangely over the top and yet fits perfectly with the rest of the film.
At the heart of it, The Muppets get all of the best laughs and there are some incredibly good gags and a whole host of cameos which I will avoid ruining.
The plot is to be honest a bit of a mess. There is an enornous amount of co-incidence that all of the items needed for the major theft are in venues which are right next to theatres. There’s also the main villain of the piece, Constantine, looks like Kermit and nobody notices why he is talking in a peculiar Russian accent,
But you know, it is easy to be as cynical as Statler and Waldorf, and a lot more fun to simply enjoy the film for what it is. It has all the joy of the 2011 film and you’ll be glad they’re doing a sequel.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a soundtrack to go and buy.
Review by Steve Mills
Muppets Most Wanted is being shown at Cineworld Northampton.