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James Bobin
Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell
Writing Credits:
James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller

Taking the World by Farce

There's plenty of fun for the whole family as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppets gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows the Muppets, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper. Now Kermit is behind bars at the mercy of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey), and the World's Number One Criminal, Constantine -- a dead ringer for Kermit -- has taken his place. As Constantine and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais) plot the robbery of the century, they are pursued by Sam Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell).

Box Office:
$50 million.
Opening Weekend
$17,005,126 on 3,194 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD HR 7.1
English Descriptive Video 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (Theatrical Cut Only)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 107 min. (Theatrical Cut)
119 min. (Unnecessarily Extended Cut)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 8/12/2014

• Three Versions of the Film
• “The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History”
• “Rizzo’s Biggest Fan” Featurette
• Music Video
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Muppets Most Wanted [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 11, 2014)

Back in 2011, The Muppets brought Jim Henson’s characters to a new generation of viewers. While it didn’t rake in a ton of box office bucks, it did decently and it also enjoyed a positive reputation as a fun return to form for the Muppets.

This moderate success led to the semi-inevitable sequel, 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted. The film picks up literally at the end of the first story, as the Muppets debate what to do next. As suggested by theatrical agent Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitmire) decides that they’ll embark on a world tour.

In the meantime, criminal mastermind Constantine (voiced by Matt Vogel) – aka “The World’s Most Dangerous Frog” - escapes from a Russian gulag and infiltrates the Muppet organization. He does this because except for a beauty mark, Constantine looks exactly like Kermit. Constantine frognaps Kermit, affixes a spot to our hero’s face and sends Kermit to take his place in prison.

Constantine then hides his own beauty mark, impersonates Kermit and runs the Muppets. We follow the tour and Constantine’s nefarious plans as well as Kermit’s attempts to escape the gulag and related subplots.

When I saw Muppets theatrically in 2011, I thought it was okay but nothing special; not until I viewed the Blu-ray a few months later did I come to really appreciate and enjoy the film. When I saw Muppets Most Wanted in spring 2014, I also thought it was decent but unmemorable. Would my second viewing on Blu-ray cause me to reassess it as well?

Yup, though not to the same degree. I encountered a bigger change of heart with the 2011 film, as it leapt from a 6 out of 10 up to a 9 for me. By comparison, Wanted feels more like a jump from a 6 to a 7 or a 7.5; I definitely like the movie more after a second screening, but I still don’t think it lives up to the heights of its predecessor.

Not that I’ll complain, for even though Wanted may not match up with the first movie, it provides plenty of pleasures of its own. As usual, the film comes with a ton of irreverent Muppet-style humor, and most of these gags score. Occasional duds result, but there’s a good number of laughs to be found here via the characters and parodies.

In addition, the new actors and roles fit the movie well. Ty Burrell does a fun twist on the Inspector Clouseau model, and Gervais fills the part of the put-upon baddie in a satisfying manner. Tina Fay doesn’t get a ton to do as the gulag warden, but she offers an amusing take on the theme and adds to her character.

Of course, we get tons of cameos here, as those are a Muppet staple. You probably won’t find any that stand out as stunning – Lady Gaga’s probably the biggest star along for the ride – but most seem fun, and they deliver mirth. We even find a few cameos who return from the first film, though one shouldn’t expect to see Muppets leads Jason Segel or Amy Adams; in a mild surprise, they contribute nothing to the sequel.

Possibly the most amusing addition to Wanted comes from out lead villain Constantine. A sizable percentage of the movie’s laughs come from his scheming and weak attempts to impersonate Kermit. Vogel proves to be a constant delight in the role; he takes Constantine’s lines and runs with them.

Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for one of his Muppet songs, and his tunes continue to delight here. Actually, I might like his Wanted compositions better, as they’re catchy and clever parodies. A good spoof works as both comedy and music, and that holds true for McKenzie’s work here; tracks like “I’ll Get You What You Want” are downright hummable in their own right.

All of this adds up to another enjoyable Muppet adventure. Muppets Most Wanted occasionally threatens to stumble but it never falls, as it stays light and likable from beginning to end.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Muppets Most Wanted appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not a stellar presentation, the transfer satisfied.

Overall definition seemed positive. A smattering of wider shots could be a bit on the soft side, but that didn’t create a real problem. Instead, the vast majority of the image looked accurate and concise. I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the movie lacked edge haloes or source flaws.

The Muppets live in a world of primary colors, and those hues came across well. The film boasted a lively palette and reproduced these tones in a bright, perky manner. Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows showed good clarity and smoothness. This was a more than satisfactory presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD HR 7.1 soundtrack, it also offered plenty of delights. The movie’s action elements gave us a lot of good auditory information around the spectrum, as the mix brought various scenes to life in a fun way. I’d be hard-pressed to come up with any particular standout sequences, but the elements meshed together in a smooth manner and delivered a lot of pop along the way. Music used solid stereo imaging and effects came from logical locations; those blended and moved in a believable manner.

Audio quality was strong. Music seemed full and peppy, while speech appeared concise and without edginess or other issues. Effects offered good clarity and accuracy, with bold bass response at appropriate times. The soundtrack suited the film and added to its fun.

When we shift to extras, the primary attraction comes from three separate versions of the film – or two and a gimmick, truthfully. In addition to the standard Theatrical Cut (1:47:20), we get an Unnecessarily Extended Cut (1:59:13) and a Statler and Waldorf Cut (1:42). The “S&W” one delivers an obvious joke, as the noted Muppet-haters reduce the film’s length to a bare minimum; it’s a cute gag, even if it’s a predictable one.

As for the differences between the theatrical and extended editions, I discerned 33 scenes that were extended or altered in some way. Three musical numbers went longer – “We’re Doing a Sequel”, “I’ll Get You What You Want” and “Interrogation Song” – and a wide variety of added lines/snippets occurred for other parts of the movie.

None of the changes delivered new plot information, so don’t expect any “stand-alone” sequences. Virtually everything complemented existing scenes; some of the changes were longer/more radical than others but all connected to material in the Theatrical Cut.

I think both versions of Wanted work fine but probably prefer the Extended Cut. Again, it adds nothing crucial, but it gives us a bunch of funny bits that don’t appear in the shorter edition and these entertain, though they do threaten to make the movie too long. Prior to 2011, all the Muppet films ran in the 80-90 minute range, and Muppets topped out at 103 minutes. Stretching the characters and situations to 119 minutes could’ve been too much of a good thing.

And maybe if I view it again, I’ll feel that the Extended Cut of Wanted is as unnecessary as it claims to be. It’s possible I liked it just because it was fun to see the new material but the length will drag on further review. For the time being, though, I do prefer the longer Wanted, as it comes with too many good gags to go back to the shorter edition.

A sequel to a feature on the first movie’s Blu-ray, The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History runs nine minutes, 45 seconds and boasts a collection of outtakes. I like the ad-libs from the Muppet actors but we get way too many shots of a cackling Ricky Gervais.

Rizzo’s Biggest Fan goes for two minutes, 47 seconds and offers a wacky clip. Under an alias, Muppet Rizzo sends an e-mail to director James Bobin to demand that Rizzo receive more screen time in the sequel. This becomes a cute but forgettable clip.

Next we find a music video for Bret McKenzie’s “I’ll Get You What You Want”. It mostly mixes lip-synch footage with movie clips, though it does attempt to place McKenzie in the action. That factor makes it a little better than average but not by much. I really like the song, though.

The disc opens with ads for Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent and Disneynature: Bears. Sneak Peeks also includes promos for Star Wars: Rebels, Legend of the Neverbeast and Disney: Infinity. No trailer for Wanted appears here.

A second disc delivers a DVD copy of Wanted. It features the theatrical cut and the music video but lacks any of the other supplements.

While it doesn’t quite match up with the delights of its predecessor, Muppets Most Wanted comes with plenty of pleasures of its own. It mostly avoids pitfalls to give us a fun, frisky comedy. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio but skimps on supplements; other than an extended cut of the movie, we don’t find many bonus materials. The absence of substantial extras disappoints but the flick itself satisfies.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 3
0 3:
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