Review: ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ (G)*** and a half

MuppetsTHEY’RE having a good time touring Europe until Constantine, a criminal doppel-ganger for Kermit, joins forces with their agent Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) in a plot to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London.

That necessitates, at the beginning of a tour westward through Europe, getting Kermit sent to the Gulag on a trumped-up charge to replace Constantine. Easy enough for Badguy to arrange.

This Muppet adventure, like its predecessors, is great fun. Their franchise is now in the Pixar stable under the Disney flag. Technical and creative skills are not an issue.

There’s no reason to consider Muppets as being strictly for kids. Indeed, while adults will enjoy deciphering, remembering and deriving pleasure from themes, allusions, familiar faces and historical references from a range of cinematic, historic and reality sources, kids may enjoy those embellishments to the core plot without understanding their full relevance, if indeed relevance exists.

Cameos by human characters invite a game of “Who’s that one?”. Tina Fey is delectably domineering as the Gulag commandant. Christoph Waltz waltzes. Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo, Frank Langella, the list is long and the satisfactions from their participation are undeniable.

Take your youngsters along and enjoy keeping them company. I did observe one playing a game on his iPhone toward the film’s end. That’s no great sin nor particularly aberrant for a film that runs for 113 minutes.

At Hoyts, Dendy, Palace Electric and Limelight

 

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