The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.
Flush with their revival's success, Kermit the Frog and his friends are approached by Dominic Badguy to go on a world tour. Unknown to them, this is all part of the sinister plan of Constantine, the world's most evil frog, to become the greatest thief of all time. After making sure that Kermit is jailed as himself, Constantine impersonates him to use the Muppets' tour as cover for his scheme. While Sam the Eagle and Inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon investigate, the Muppets find their boss seems strangely changed even as Kermit desperately attempts to escape to stop the impostor. Only when Walter, Fozzie and Animal realize the truth is there a chance to prevent Constantine from pulling off the crime of the century. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When I reviewed "The Muppets" (2011) upon its release, I was ecstatic about it. I loved the story, the songs, and everything the Muppets themselves did in the movie.
Most people who saw "The Muppets" who were not Muppet fans before seeing it enjoyed the film. Muppet fans themselves, in addition to loving the movie, could sense the heart and passion the filmmakers put into every aspect, and felt no doubt everyone involved in making "The Muppets" were Muppet fans themselves.
"Muppets Most Wanted" is the 8th Muppet movie, but the first one that is technically a sequel because it acknowledges the events that took place in its immediate predecessor. Many of those involved in "The Muppets" return in this sequel, including director and co-writer James Bobin, co-writer Nicholas Stoller, songwriter (and Oscar-winner) Bret McKenzie, and all the Muppets including newcomer Walter . . . but something was missing.
As I watched the film, I could see all the Muppets were there, and it seemed like they were trying to perform "The Muppet Show" as well as they did in their previous film. There was a coherent story about a criminal mastermind who happened to look identical to Kermit the Frog, and exploits this coincidence to help him escape from prison.
I wanted this movie to make me laugh. I want to tell everyone that the Muppets are cool and funny again like I did back when I saw "The Muppets" . . . but I can't.
The problem may have had to do with the story, or at least the motivations of antagonist and Kermit-lookalike Constantine. With his partner in crime Dominic Badguy (pronounced BA-jee, & played by Ricky Gervais), he uses the Muppets' world tour as a front to rob European museums of their precious diamonds.
"The Great Muppet Caper" had a similar plot, but that movie was more clever because virtually all the Muppets in that movie parodied how overdone such a plot was. This movie doesn't even want to acknowledge the banality of that hackneyed plot line, or even consider why any modern audience would care about a jewel heist.
Also, whereas the songs were a major strength in "The Muppets", the song "We're Doing A Sequel" is the only one worth remembering. It's a promising, tongue-in-cheek song that acknowledges the stigma and symptoms of sequelitis, only to allow the whole film to fall victim to its own diagnosis.
Many of the other songs are surprisingly mundane, considering McKenzie wrote far more brilliant songs for "The Muppets". For example, the song "I'll Get What You Want (Cockatoo In Malibu)" has lyrics that include "I can give you anything you want/Give you anything you need/I'll make your dreams come true/Give you anything you want".
You're waiting for a funny line, but McKenzie, for the first time in his songwriting career, never delivers one. Considering the hilarious, genre-bashing songs he made famous with Flight Of The Conchords, it feels as if he didn't even try.
Last but not least, everything "The Muppets" did right with celebrity cameos, "Muppets Most Wanted" did wrong. You see Christoph Waltz dancing the waltz, Salma Hayek getting on and off stage, Danny Trejo in prison, and Celine Dion just singing.
You don't see Gonzo doing a crazy stunt (you only hear him talking about it), Fozzie Bear telling a joke, or most of the Muppets doing what they do best. Even Lew Zealand forgets to throw a fish.
Of the human stars who actually have relevant roles, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell actually look like they're having fun. Ricky Gervais is surprisingly dull, being both unfunny enough to stand alongside the Muppets, and not menacing enough to be a villain.
The Muppets are the stars of this movie, not the humans. Somewhere in the making of this movie, the filmmakers left their love of the Muppets, and their desire to make them intriguing characters, by the door, and it shows by what you don't see the Muppets do.
"Muppets Most Wanted" has some laughs, but they are more like light chuckles with no feelings of joy or poignancy. The Muppets have already proved they can make a comeback, but this is not the movie that proves their staying power.
"Muppets Most Wanted" is by no means a terrible movie, but I hope the Muppets prove their worth in their next movie. I hope there is a next movie.
One last note: The Walt Disney Company has not yet released "The Muppet Show" Seasons 4 & 5 on DVD in addition to many other long-unavailable Muppet TV specials (e.g. "A Muppet Family Christmas" (1987)), yet has purchased Marvel Comics and the Star Wars franchise. Maybe the problem lies with Disney not caring enough about the Muppets.
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