“Everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good,” sing our fluffy friends during the opening number of a film with much to live up to after 2011’s terrific reboot, The Muppets. The joke proves self-fulfilling—but first, a little plot: Muppets Most Wanted concerns a world tour run by new manager Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). In short order, Kermit is replaced by evil doppelgänger Constantine; meanwhile, the real Kermit is imprisoned in a Russian gulag run by Nadya (Tina Fey). A pair of Interpol agents (Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle) investigate.
On the upside, there’s the usual cozy Muppet mix of character humor, situation comedy, farce, satire and wordplay. Fey has one too many musical numbers but shares good chemistry with Kermit. And it’s amusing to see the likes of Danny Trejo prancing around a gulag.
Yet this follow-up misses the genial charm of The Muppets stars Amy Adams and Jason Segel (the latter is also notably absent from the writing credits). Still, it’s easy to forgive when there’s another one-liner around the corner—and Miss Piggy’s costume changes are a show in themselves.
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