Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 7/10
Cast Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Sean Combs, Jermaine Clement, Rob Couddry, Mackenzie Crook, Celine Dion, Dexter Fletcher, Lady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, Ross Lynch, James McAvoy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Usher Raymond, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Russell Tovey, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz
Voice artists: Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz, Louise Gold.
The Muppets are once again a success story, feted from every corner of the globe, from Madrid to Dublin, From Los Angeles to the Tower of London, there is nowhere that doesn’t warm to Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy and Rowlf The Dog…except all is not what it seems as a master criminal, the world’s most dangerous frog is on the loose and intent on destroying the good name built up by Kermit.
With some cleverly observed jokes and in built buffoonery, Muppets Most Wanted is the latest in a long line of films celebrating the invention of Jim Henson.
One of the celebrated things about any Muppet film is the human cast that interacts with the likes of Kermit the Frog and Fozzy Bear, notably the great Michael Caine and Tim Curry throwing felt abandon to the world to give sterling performances in a world of Muppet mayhem. Even the remarkable Amy Adams played off against them superbly in the previous film but it can be a stretch to far for some. Whereas the eminent Ray Liotta, the very funny Tina Fey and Ty Burrell capture the moments they are on screen with any of Jim Henson’s creations, the same cannot be said for the sometimes stilted embarrassment that Ricky Gervais brings to the film. Although the likes of very fleeting guest spot appearances by Chloë Grace Moretz, Saorise Ronan, Russell Tovey and Stanley Tucci prove that everybody wants to have their name attached to something as loved as a Muppet film, some actors should perhaps be a little less consumed with the idea.
There surely can never be anything as preposterous as a bad Muppet film. They are classics for a generation that sees beyond the trappings of all the modern techniques employed by cinema and whilst Muppets Most Wanted never even comes close to having that derogatory term placed against it or even the laughable joke of being turned into its pun, Muppets Most Unwanted, it does have its own worries that make it perilously the least favourite of all the Muppet films, thankfully for long term fans Muppets From Space will surely always have that undesirable accolade thrust down its fuzzy felt throat.
Children will love it; adults who love the sometimes anarchic humour will adore it and for the big kid in us all, it is a great caper, just let down by some members of its human supporting cast.
Ian D. Hall