Gonzo is contacted by his alien family through his breakfast cereal. But when the men in black kidnap him, it's up to Kermit and the gang to rescue Gonzo and help him reunite with his long-lost family.
Big Bird is sent to live far from Sesame Street by a pesky social worker. Unhappy, Big Bird runs away from his foster home, prompting the rest of the Sesame Street gang to go on a cross-country journey to find him.
The Muppets graduate from college and decide to take their senior revue on the road. They hit the streets of Manhattan trying to sell their show to producers, finally finding one young and idealistic enough to take their show. After several mishaps and much confusion, things begin to come together for them.Written by
Jan Bednarczuk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Still fun, but lacks the spark that made the first two films so memorable.
After getting the formula about right with The Great Muppet Caper, the series takes a strange turn with 'Manhattan' only a few years later. Veteran Muppet Frank Oz takes the helm from Jim Henson and makes a few minor but noticeable changes. Gone are the nods and winks to the audience for the most part, and the film is far more plot based and linear than the slapstick shenanigans of the first film.
Kermit and the gang are finishing college and pondering their futures, which will very likely result in them all moving on separately and losing touch. However Kermit boldly concocts a plan that will see the gang remain together, by heading en masse to Manhattan to launch a massive stage musical called Manhattan Melodies, with all the Muppets as performers or stage hands.
Unfortunately after just a few short days, no success and low on funds, the various characters are forced to disperse and forge their own future, with the promise from Kermit to summon them all if/when the musical gets greenlit. Kermit takes a job in a diner and everyone goes their separate ways.
In many ways this is a more depressing film than the first two – even with the frog killing theme – for long periods of time the characters mope and ponder a future alone, and it seems that the Muppets will never again operate in unison. Of course this isn't how the film ends, but even in a puppet movie you don't need to be kept sad for over half the running time.
The jokes are less frequent and the tone less tongue in cheek. The cameos are still plentiful but are more 'look here's the famous cameo' than in other films. The inclusion of the Muppet Babies in a thinly veiled promo for the spin-off is as entertaining as it is blatant, and in some ways is a minor indictment on the dull tone of the rest of the film that it can be upstaged by a flashback.
There is another attempt at a grand sequence with Piggy taking a skate through the park, but it is far less successful than either of the sequences from Caper, and the big finale was an apt but desperate ending to proceedings.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. I by no means am saying steer clear of Manhattan, but after the Muppet Movie got the ball rolling and Caper took such a great leap forward, it is disappointing that the franchise would take a step back like this.
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