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Muppets Most Wanted

By JAY HORTON
While technically the eighth Muppet movie—or, as the first song smartly explains, the seventh sequel—new release Muppets Most Wanted probably won't be judged against the grosses of Muppet Treasure Island. For better or worse, the overwhelming success of 2011's The Muppets provided Disney a reboot blueprint: Stay with what works and remember who we're here to see. So, of course, Kermit is replaced by a Russian doppelgänger, we visit the grand concert halls of Europe, and Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais are given extended solo dance routines. While awful choices abound, the Muppets reflexively generate so much unsinkable goodwill that even the laziest of plots still charms—and might even be welcome, given the ’70s-meets-art deco visual aesthetic and escalating cameo bombs. Whatever the failings of the human leads, every gulag needs Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and Josh Groban. Every wedding needs "the" Usher. Every Miss Piggy-Celine Dion duet needs an Academy Award. Fey and Gervais are not, however, singers, and neither are they actors in any traditional sense. Rather than embodying a role, they organize their most relevant tics, telegraph their amateur efforts to the audience and presumably depend upon natural presence and timing to carry a scene, which tends to fail disastrously when the co-star cannot wink. It actually is easy being green-screened. Comedy with puppets is hard.
 
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Running Time: 108 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, March 21, 2014
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: PG [ Some Mild Action ]
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Starring: Ricky Gervais [Dominic/Number Two], Ty Burrell [Jean Pierre Napoleon], Tina Fey [Nadya], Danny Trejo [], Tom Hiddleston [], Celine Dion [], Salma Hayek [], Christoph Waltz [], Sean Combs [], Ross Lynch []
  • Directed by: James Bobin [Director], James Bobin [Screenwriter], Nicholas Stoller [Screenwriter], David Hoberman [Producer], Todd Lieberman [Producer], Nicholas Stoller [Executive Producer], John Scotti [Executive Producer], Rahel Afiley [Costume Designer], Eve Stewart [Production Design], Bret McKenzie [Original Songs], Christophe Beck [Original Music], Don Burgess [Cinematographer]
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