tek's rating:

Muppets Most Wanted (PG)
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streaming sites: Amazon; Disney+; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

Caution: spoilers.

This came out in 2014, but I didn't see it until 2020. It was accompanied theatrically by the Pixar short film Party Central.

The story picks up immediately after the events of the 2011 movie The Muppets. And... the Muppets, including Walter, are all trying to decide what to do next. They're approached by a guy named Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), who suggests doing a world tour, and they hire him to make the arrangements. Meanwhile, in Siberia, a frog named Constantine (who looks just like Kermit, except for a mole on his face), escapes from a gulag. (While Kermit is voiced, as usual, by Steve Whitmire, Constantine is voiced by Matt Vogel. They both also voiced various other characters.) It's not long before we learn that Dominic works for Constantine, who refers to him as "Number Two" (which reminded me of Austin Powers). When the Muppets are in Berlin for a performance, Dominic suggests Kermit go for a walk alone, to clear his head after having a fight with Miss Piggy. Constantine shows up, glues a fake mole to Kermit's face, and quickly vanishes, just before police arrive and arrest Kermit, believing him to be Constantine. He's sent to the gulag, where he is sort of befriended (in a domineering way) by a prison guard named Nadya (Tina Fey). Constantine uses makeup to cover his own mole, and takes Kermit's place with the Muppets. Dominic claims "Kermit" has a cold (to explain why he doesn't sound like the real Kermit). The only Muppet who realizes Constantine is an impostor is Animal, who calls him "bad frog," but no one listens to him (which is hardly surprising, considering how inarticulate he is).

Anyway, as the Muppets travel to various European cities, Constantine and Dominic commit a series of crimes, in which they obtain various items they need to ultimately steal the British crown jewels. These crimes are investigated by an Interpol agent named Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell), as well as a CIA agent played by Sam the Eagle. For most of the movie, the two of them don't get along very well. Oh, and Jean Pierre believes the crimes are being committed by a mysterious master criminal known as "the Lemur". I should also say that from the very start, Walter had been unsure of whether it was a good idea to go on tour or to trust Dominic, and he eventually begins to notice Kermit has been acting strangely. Walter, Fozzie, and Animal finally realize the truth about Constantine, and leave the Muppets to rescue Kermit.

Beyond that, I don't want to reveal any details, though of course there's ultimately a happy ending. I found the movie mostly pretty amusing, and I liked the songs (even if most of them were darker than usual, for the Muppets). I also enjoyed seeing various celebrity cameos, including Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Saoirse Ronan, a very brief appearance by Chloe Grace Moretz, and possibly others. (Wikipedia has a list, including a lot of people I don't know and some I know but didn't recognize.) And um, I think the movie reminded me of any number of other things... for example, Constantine's parkouring around like a ninja (or a Sith) reminded me of Yoda's battles with Dooku in Attack of the Clones and Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith. The movie also inspired a viral meme template. (I was quite familiar with that concept for years before I finally saw the movie, and was a bit surprised to learn that the basis for it was nothing like I expected.) In any event, the movie was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I've finally seen it.

Muppet movies