Feb 17, 2014
"Muppets Most Wanted" Will Be A Total Cinemagasm All Over Your Funny Bone
Years ago I was out at dinner with some friends when we started reminiscing about “The Muppet Show.” Being Gen-Xers steaming full-speed into our thirties, the Muppets were one of those cultural touchstones to which we all related. In a nostalgic fit we decided that after dinner we would stop by a video store (they still existed) and rent some old episodes, retire to one couple’s apartment, and spend the rest of the night watching Kermit and friends while getting stoned to the gills. As I recall, the experience didn’t live up to the anticipation of the experience. Isn’t that always the way?
Still, I got just as excited seeing the trailer for Muppets Most Wanted, the upcoming sequel to 2011’s The Muppets. This movie has everything! Action! Comedy! Hollywood stars with foreign accents! There is Tina Fey doing Natasha Fatale! Ty Burrell doing Inspector Clouseau! Ricky Gervais doing a British person!
The plot, which looks as if it nods slightly to 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper, involves Kermit’s evil doppleganger, Constantine, who looks like Kermit in every way except for the mole on his right cheek, and who also has an accent that sounds like a cross between a constipated Mikhail Gorbachev and a James Bond villain from one of the early Connery movies. Constantine switches identities with Kermit, who gets tossed into a Russian gulag presided over by Fey, who even in a sexless brown Russian army uniform would never be mistaken for a babushka lady. Meantime Constantine leads the Muppets on a tour of Europe, which he will use as cover to pull off some sort of heist, though we guess we’ll have to see the movie to find out what he’s heisting.
Constantine is being helped in his evil plan by Gervais as Dominic Badguy (“That’s Baa-gee” he explains to the skeptical Muppets. “It’s French”) who has some experience playing opposite hysterical puppets. He looks like he’s having fun even when there is a green felt frog dancing on his head. There are cameos by a ton of stars, all of whose faces went by too fast for us to recognize them, though we’re pretty sure we saw Salma Hayek, and we definitely saw Danny Trejo giving a deadpan reading of the line “Wokka wokka” right before he took out a three-foot wooden stake and stabbed a dozen vampires through their hearts.
Okay, that didn’t happen, and won’t be necessary to make this movie more awesome. It has Muppets and funny accents. It is by definition already awesome.