Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

(On Cable TV, January 2015)  The return of the Muppets in their 2011 film, after a lengthy eclipse, was a perfectly calibrated comeback, lending considerable promise to any sequel.  With Muppets Most Wanted… well, we’re back to a more ordinary level of quality.  Picking up where The Muppets ended, this sequel cheerfully announced its colors with the “An Unnecessary Muppets Sequel” music number, but then does on to far more ordinary territory with the rest of its crime/comedy framework.  Fortunately, even a more average Muppets film is still a good time at the movies, and this sequel coats on the good-will of the previous film with an astonishing number of celebrity cameos.  Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais and Ty Burr do well in the human roles.  The caper plot has a nice international flavour, and the film seems willing to cram twice as many jokes as there are space for them, hoping that at least some of them will stick.  The biggest asset of The Muppets is its oft-corny charm, and for all of its more ordinary impact, Muppets Most Wanted at least has much of that charm.  It’s a decent follow-up, although it can’t touch the 2011 film for sheer success.

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