By M. Scott Morris
If I’m a man, I’m a Muppet of a man, and if you recognized that lyric from 2011’s “The Muppets,” there’s a good chance you’ve already seen “Muppets Most Wanted.”
I’m a fan from way back, and consider the late Jim Henson, founder of the Muppets, to be among the most important figures of the 20th century. He believed the world needed more corny goodness, and I’m pretty sure he was right.
Needless to say, anticipation was in the air when the theater darkened. The resulting film wasn’t a knock-me-out-of-my-seat event, but the family and I had fun watching Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal and the others as they traveled around the world with a cavalcade of stars and a train loaded with puns.
In this outing, Kermit is mistaken for Constantine, the most evil frog in the world. Kermit gets sent to a gulag in Siberia, which is oddly topical considering Russia’s recent aggression in the Ukraine.
Tina Fey serves as Kermit’s jailer, and his fellow prisoners include Ray Liotta, Tom Hiddleston and Danny Trejo, and all them can sing and dance to some degree. Who knew?
Meanwhile back on the Muppets’ international tour, Constantine and Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) are using the Muppets as cover for a series of robberies.
That’s our plot, and corny goodness ensues, along with clever and not-so-clever production numbers.
The movie opens with a song about sequels and how they’re never as good as the original, and that applies here, even though “The Muppets” wasn’t actually the original.
There are now eight movies in the Muppets’ canon. Some are better than others, and even though Mississippi native Henson is gone, I think the recent films capture the spirit of what he was trying to do.
If you’re not a fan of the Muppets, steer clear. But if you have affection for them, grab a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, or a neighbor kid (with the parent’s permission, of course) and take a light-hearted trip down a felt-covered memory lane.
I give “Muppets Most Wanted” a B.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, and Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.