A film that opens with a song about sequels never being quite as good as the original is almost setting itself up for failure. Thankfully this is not quite the case here – although for a hardened Muppet fan (33 years and counting) it was never going to be easy to impress me.
The movie follows on directly from The Muppets (2011) and has the gang trying to decide how to capitalise on their renewed fame. Enter Mr. Badguy (Ricky Gervais) and our puppet friends find themselves being led up the garden path, directly to Siberia and Tina Fey, who is portraying a Russian Prison Guard. From there it is all hands on deck in an effort to prove Kermit is not the most evil frog in the whole world, save the British crown jewels, and see if Miss Piggy finally gets a ring on her finger!
There is a fantastic New Zealand connection with this movie, with Bret McKenzie providing the musical score, and Jermaine Clement showing up as a Russian prisoner. Ty Burrell rounds out the main human cast, with “special guest stars” featuring everyone from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett through to Celine Dion, Salma Hayek, James McAvoy and many more. Clearly everyone in Hollywood wanted a slice of the Muppet action.
Some of the gags are repeated from previous movies (to the point where I could name them as the film went along); the final song comes straight from Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), and many leading Muppet characters are reduced to cameos and background shots. However, if you have children and you want to introduce them to legends of television history then this is a pretty good way to do it.
The DVD offers no extras, which is a tad disappointing as I am sure even seasoned professionals like the Muppets must make bloopers sometimes. Perhaps Disney is waiting to roll out another DVD version at some point with a few special features.
The songs were good, but not memorable. It lacked the “Jim Henson Magic” that earlier Muppet films from the 70s and 80s had. The cameos were awesome, the human cast looked like they were having a great time, and anything with the Muppets still grabs my attention and holds it.
Rating: 3/5 stars