Muppets Most Wanted (open spoilers)

Saw this last night, thanks to a preview showing put on by the spouse’s company.

I thought it was…okay. Cute, fun, but ultimately not as satisfying as the original. Tina Fey did a nice job as the gulag commandant and there were a lot of cameos (most of them kind of useless, a few (like Russell Tovey) you would literally miss if you blinked) but overall I thought they spent way too much time focusing on the “heist” plot and Constantine the Evil Frog, and not enough on the kind of goofiness that makes the Muppets so much fun. I also thought (and this was, of course, no fault of the movie’s) that the whole “Russian gulag” thing was probably a good example of Great Moments in Bad Timing.

I did like the fact that they dropped a couple of throwaway gags in at the beginning that ended up being important at the end (Bunsen and Beaker’s “bomb attracting suit” and the Muppet Ladder), but overall I think the whole thing didn’t stand up very well to the original. They probably shouldn’t have included the song at the beginning that came right out and said that sequels are never as good as the original. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Pixar short, though (I didn’t catch the name but it was from “Monsters University”) was quite cute and fun. I thought it was better than the movie.

Anybody else seen it yet? What’d y’all think?

I liked it better than the first new-era Muppet movie (which I did like), but they still haven’t nailed it.

There was a Muppets documentary I saw, maybe 20 years ago, and Frank Oz makes a very important point. He says “These characters don’t work in a vacuum”. He was talking about chemistry between characters. The new Muppet performers are good, and the veteran performers who are still involved are good too, but they’re missing opportunities to really revel in the chemistry between the characters.

The previous movie was a get-the-gang-back-together movie. The only problem there was that too much of the movie didn’t have the gang together and we had to wait it out. This one takes Kermit away from the gang for most of the movie. As chemistry goes, the most important pairings are Kermit/Piggy and Kermit/Fozzie (and there’s a lot of magic in the Kermit/Fozzie/Gonzo trio- The Great Muppet Caper is still the greatest entry in the Muppet filmography).

Both these two movies had good stories on paper. It’s not until the execution that it becomes clear that the movie is hurt by separating characters who work best when they’re together.

I will say though that I am very pleased that they’ve kept Bret McKenzie on board to write the songs. He did a great job his first time around and he did even better this time.

In terms of chemistry between characters- upon which I laid so much emphasis writing above- I thought Sam the Eagle and Ty Burrell were great together!

I loved the interrogation song!

I loved that Danny Trejo played himself!
(“Goodnight, Danny Trejo.”)

I thought that this was one of the best gags in the entire movie.

If you watch the credits carefully, you’ll note that while every single cameo says “Cameo Actor Him/Herself,” for him it says “Danny Trejo Danny Trejo.”

I might have a problem with this film, insofar as I will need to look up who the two actors mentioned for cameos are and what they have done. Tina Fey I have seen before, but I have never heard of Russel Tovey or Danny Trejo.

My cultural relevance meter has slipped another few notches.

At Rotten Tomatoes it’s at 77% (68% top critics) white the 2011 film got 96%. Remember, there’s a lot of genre-friendly shifting of reviews for kids’ movies. Even “Wed Paint Drying For Kids” would get at least 20%. So a significant fall off in quality.

Based on Friday’s box office, it’s going to underperform significantly. Was predicted to do $25M or more, won’t get even $20M. Also a major drop from the earlier film even taking in account that one’s holiday opening.

Mrs. FtG and I watched The Muppets for nostalgia reasons and it was okay. Probably won’t watch this one. Jason Segel was a poor choice for the first. Ricky Gervais even worse. Ty Burrell now has two kids’ movies in the top 5.

A few general questions/comments, from someone who hasn’t yet seen the movie:

By “the original” I assume you mean The Muppets from a couple of years ago? It just seems weird to see that referred to as “the original,” which you do several times.
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You have a good point, but a lot of the chemistry you mention was at least originally a matter of how well Jim Henson and Frank Oz worked together. Do you think the characters you mention still have the same chemistry together now that they’re performed by other people?

Well, he was the one who originated the project, wasn’t he? I thought he did okay (and I’m not familiar with his other work).

I wouldn’t worry too much about Russell Tovey. I only recognized him because he was in a couple of episodes of Doctor Who (and he has extremely distinctive ears, so if you know what he looks like, he’s hard to miss).

I don’t think he’s as well known in the US as the other cameos.

I’d heard of Danny Trejo but I have no idea who he is or what he’s been in.

Yeah, good point, sorry. I was talking about the one from a couple of years ago. I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t seen any of the others.

You really should, the first couple are quite good.

The one thing that stuck out at me that I thought they would go with that they didn’t was having Ms. Piggy getting mad at Deon for “hogging” the spot light.

I’m also surprised, unless I missed it, they didn’t say ‘evil’ Kermit had a frog in his throat when commenting on how he was talking.

I actually thought it was pretty good, all things considered. Despite the fact that I love both Jason Segel and Amy Adams I thought that the human cast of this movie was much better than the last one even though the last one was a better movie overall.

I found it significantly less interesting than the Jason Segel one (and I wasn’t all that fond of that one).

Cameo whack-a-mole. Mediocre songs. Flat energy by focusing primarily on two newly introduced characters and using the familiar muppets as background noise.

I liked it. The movie is completely ridiculous and there are lots of fun/silly little things all over the place, like “Die Muppets”.

The credits list Dion as “Piggy Fairy Godmother” which is perhaps why Miss Piggy doesn’t get mad. Although it might be even funnier if Piggy got mad at her own fairy godmother.

I saw it today, and that’s pretty close to my reaction. Not a great movie overall, but some nice moments and small touches. I recognized the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. And did anyone else catch the ravens flying away from the Tower of London after the Crown Jewels were stolen?

And this will sound odd for a children’s movie, but I didn’t think Tina Fey could get any hotter. She was rockin’ that accent.

Many Hollywood talents I first heard about as special guest’s in the Muppet Show. I was a kid back then.

Machete!

He’s a stalwart of Robert Rodriguez, but has often played gang members and other similar tough guys. He’s the Latino equivalent of Vinnie Jones.

Though, appropriately, you probably don’t know who Vinnie Jones is either, so that likely isn’t much help.

…and for those who are fans of Breaking Bad, you can’t forget Danny Trejo’s head on a tortoise!

I pretty much agree on all counts, though I liked the movie overall more.

I thought it was very funny and the breakneck speed was to the film’s benefit because they didn’t linger over a failed gag but lots of little throwaway jokes worked wonders. And I liked that the cameos ranged from a blink to a wink–nice range, though some could’ve been used to better advantage.

Also, while I don’t think any of the songs were as good as “Life’s a Happy Song” or “Man or Muppet”, all the songs were better integrated into the movie and made it feel like a full-fledged musical (as opposed to a rag tag song assembly like last time).

I liked that, w/the exception of Kermit, the gang was together throughout to play up the dynamics of everyone (something that took too long to build up last time, as well as introducing a new character into the ensemble). And I liked that each of the 3 main human actors got a song each. Plus Constantine was a great character that they established in 60 seconds and just kept rolling from there.

Overall, a step up from last time IMHO and quite delightful overall.

Oh, and that Monsters U short? Blech. It’s time to put that franchise out to pasture for good.

Aha! So that’s why I haven’t been able to do more than mumble like a lobotomised neanderthal for the past few days. Robot Arm stole my brain, and is currently passing my opinions off as his own. :confused:

I enjoyed it, but not as much as the 2011 movie. I still find myself humming Life’s a Happy Song occasionally, but I can’t remember how any of the songs from this one go and it’s only been six days since I saw it.