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MOVIE REVIEW: Muppets Most Wanted

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

DIRECTOR: James Bobin

CAST: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Stever Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Dave Rudmann, Matt Vogel

CLASSIFICATION: PG

RUNNING TIME: 136 minutes

RATING: ***

“We’re doing a sequel, it’s more of the same, it’s the muppets again,” sing the furry little creatures at the beginning of Muppets Most Wanted.

Cleverly chosen song that, because it is exactly what you are going to get. More of the same.

Think fuzzy puppets in every frame, cameos from celebrities in every second frame, and kitschy, cheesy jokes in every third. The first song is catchy, especially if you are a fan of the muppet style, because this is felt mania all the way. Then it just succumbs to the very thing they warn against in the song: sequelitis.

Picking up five seconds after the ending of the previous film, this one sees the muppets trying to capitalise on the good press coming their way because of their revival.

While this is the 8th muppet movie, this is the first to actually acknowledge the events of a previous film and it totally tries to play it straight. There isn’t much by way of parody or satire, it is an up down, paint-by-numbers caper film.

Kermit gets replaced by an evil frog called Constantine, who is a master thief, while the muppets are on a worldwide tour, managed by Dominic Bad Guy (Ricky Gervaise assures us it is pronounced ba-jee).

It is all just a front for Dominic and Constantine to steal stuff from museums. How they manage to travel from Los Angeles to Berlin by train will just have to remain one of life’s little mysteries.

It is hard not to make a likeable film when you’ve got Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and all their friends on your side, so yes, expect a family-based adventure during which we will all get a heartwarming message.

But, this is a film so in love with the idea of spoofing and cameos that it overcooks the goose.

It is a slapstick effort in which the only cynicism on offer is the calculated grab for your wallet and it is totally lacking in wit. But wow, it is stacked with cameos. See if you can guess who the maximum security prisoner is and keep your eyes peeled or you’ll miss James McAvoy, Tom Hollander and Tom Hiddleston and so many others.

If you liked The Muppets, you will like this.

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