You'll never hear me complain there being too much Muppets.
I've watched and enjoyed all of their films — some better than others — and could watch re-runs of their television shows for days on end.
I'll watch every Muppet they ever make and will never, ever say anything like, “You know, I think they've made enough Muppet movies.” But “Muppets Most Wanted” taught me the unfortunate lesson that there can be too much Muppets for one sitting.
“Wanted” is painfully long — a pity, too, because it gets off to a great start. The first 15 minutes are self-aware, self-deprecating and contain one of the best musical numbers I've seen in any Muppets.
I was bouncing in my seat and grinning, excited for another fun adventure with the gang. I would have sung along, too, but I didn't know the [expletive] words since I'd never seen it before.
I probably won't learn the words, either, because I didn't have much of a desire to watch it again by the time it finally ends. To put it into perspective, I went and saw the 2011 “Muppets” film three times at the theater.
“Wanted” loses its way shortly after introducing the film's primary plotline involving Constantine, a Russian (I think?) frog that looks like Kermit, who plots with Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to steal the Crown Jewels (how original!).
It's not a very interesting plot aside from some very funny jokes about “The Lemur” that gets the film's best pay-off joke. There's also a subplot set in a Russian prison where a tiny woman named Nadya (Tina Fey) is in charge of keeping the world's most dangerous criminals (including Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo) in check.
I'm not sure how they expect a tiny woman to keep these supposedly terrible people in line but, well, why am I talking about this?
Seriously, I shouldn't be discussing the logic of a Muppet movie. It's a Muppet movie, who cares if it makes sense? I don't. Well, I usually don't. The fact that I spent time during the movie pondering these things and even bothered you with it — that pretty much says it all.
It's akin to my general rule about movies involving time-travel: if you're thinking about the time-travel paradoxes while you're watching the movie, you probably aren't enjoying it. All time-travel movies have paradoxes that you will think about. But I pondered the paradoxes in “Looper” and “Peggy Sue Got Married” hours after I saw these wonderful films.
I only ever ponder the paradoxes during a movie if I'm not enjoying the film.
The final 45 minutes of “Muppets Most Wanted” drag on-and-on-and-on-and-on… you get the drift. The jokes are lifeless and everyone feels like they're going through the motions because they have to, not because they want to be there.
I was thinking about the illogical circumstances and about what I was going to eat for lunch, and didn't care one bit about how the movie ended — so long as it just ended already.
Turkey reuben, in case you were curious.
“Muppets Most Wanted” is rated PG for some mild action.
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