"I'm a Muppet fan. I wasn't when I was a kid. It wasn't until I was about 18 that I fell in love with them. That's the sustaining element of The Muppets. You can discover them when you're a kid or you can discover them when you're an adult. The humor is innocent enough for children, goofy enough for teenagers, and smart enough for adults."
- Jonathan Nettles, Review of The Muppets, 2011
It was true then and its true now, just when I think the Muppets may be done they come back with a clever and fresh film. Yes, it has a lot of the same gags but they're so good they can pull it off time and time again.
Muppets: Most Wanted joins Kermit and the gang and the end of 2011's The Muppets which immediately segues into a song and dance number about making a sequel. That's one of the beautiful things about the Muppets, they know they're in a movie or TV show. They meet a promoter played by Richard Gervais named Dominic Badguy (it's French) who convinces them to go on an international tour. Little do they know that Dominic is a thief and his mastermind partner has just broken out of a Siberian prison; they also have no idea that this mastermind, Constantine, looks like Kermit the Frog. When the Muppets reach Europe, Dominic switches Constantine for Kermit and makes sure that Kermit is sent to Constantine's old prison. Dominic and Constantine then use the Muppet Show as a diversion to steal artifacts that will help them steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Kermit meanwhile, begins to adjust to life in prison and even becomes the coordinator of the prison talent show. His only friends that seem to think something is wrong are Walter, Fozzy, and Animal who must save their frog friend before the Muppets are framed for the robberies and Constantine marries Miss Piggy.
Muppets: Most Wanted mirrors its' predecessor in many ways but focuses less on the variety show and more on its' daring plot and it's a lot more fun to watch. It stays true to form with entertaining and brief musical numbers and jokes that should translate well across ages. So far, this is the best major studio release I've seen in 2014.
Of course, part of the fun in watching any Muppet movie is looking for the cameos. This one features appearances by Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz, Selma Hayek, and many more.
If you're like me and still waiting for a really good movie in 2014, this is the one.