In case you’re just joining us: A while back, I asked YOU, the readers of this website, for your thoughts on our favorite movie of 2014, Muppets Most Wanted, in the concise format of Two Things: Give me one thing you liked about the movie and one thing you didn’t. Unsurprisingly, I got a ton of responses. So many, in fact, that it was enough for two articles! This is number two; the previous part was number one.
And now, while we wait even more impatiently for the Blu-ray to come out, here are your Two Things About Muppets Most Wanted!
One thing I liked: I would have to say the first thing that come to my head of what I liked would have to be the pair up of Sam Eagle and Jean-Pierre Napoelon (a.k.a Ty Burrell). Ty and Sam is one of the best comedic duos I have ever seen on the big-screen, and Burrell’s “Inspector Clousseau” style of slapstick humor in this movie was just hilarious. This movie is also a lot faster paced than the last one, which is a lot of fun. While I liked the last one a lot, this felt a lot more like a Muppet movie.
One thing I didn’t like: While funny for me, I think “We’re Doing a Sequel” was bit overdone, in terms of the lyrics. The lyrics of “the sequel is never quite as good” and “half decent plot” were just a little too much in my opinion, as it probably made most of the audience weary of what they’re about to see.
What I liked: Zoot has his classic look back.
What I didn’t like: I thought the cameos were overdone. Yes, some of them were funny. Some were necessary, like the prisoners. But in other places it seemed a bit forced. In particular, I thought the Muppet Show segments could have been much better (and I’m going to blame the cameos, whether that’s fair or not).
For what ever reason the running gag of “Oh, the Muppet [noun]” (“Man” in The Muppets & “Ladder” in Most Wanted) just bugs me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both funny. Just something about the “Oh, we tried this before and it didn’t work” gag seems lazy and confusing since the Ladder worked in Great Muppet Caper and i’m sure there is an example of “Man” that worked before too… maybe… probably not.
I loved Sam the Eagle as a CIA agent that has no relation to the Muppets at all. Really sells the “yeah, we’re just actors in a movie” idea. Also more Sam the Eagle is always a good, America tradition.
Mark J. Hansen:
Thing I liked: Loved that the movie put the focus back on the Muppets once again. It’s nice they don’t have to be the supporting cast to Michael Caine or Jason Segel.
Thing I didn’t like: The weird green-screen ending with all the cameos in awkward poses.
I liked: The rebirth of Kermit’s confidence and competence organizing the gulag prisoners into a coherent show. This movie felt like the necessary rejoinder to the mopey, disillusioned Kermit of The Muppets.
I didn’t like: Although common to most contemporary mainstream cinema, the ADD-editing style leaves little time to establish scenes and orient the audience in any location or sketch. Let’s see more of Gonzo actually running with the bulls on stage.
Liked: The unapologetically pastel hues of the little pink frog and the little green piggy.
Disliked: Annie Sue’s lack of dialogue, especially since she rocked that Princess Beatrice royal wedding lookalike hat!
I liked that the musical numbers were more consistently awesome this time, especially the 8-bit music under Bunsen in the opening and the Interrogation.
I dislike how little we’ve seen of Dave Goelz’s characters in the last two movies. Gonzo and Bunsen had bits cut from the last one, and now “Zongo” doesn’t even get to help rescue Kermit from the Gulag.
LIKED: The general air of mayhem, and the revelation of how Kermit kept the Muppets together by helping them curb extreme tendencies and show the best that each had to offer. (Like by not letting Piggy sing six songs per Muppet Show episode.)
DISLIKED: The ending helicopter scene. It wasn’t as climatic as it needed to be and was ended by Piggy all-too-soon. Perhaps it should have had Kermit running up the ladder of Muppets in order to reach the helicopter, showing the others coming through for Kermit in the end.
What I liked (loved) best: All the pure Muppety moments — Sam Eagle playing the role he was born to play, Christoph Waltz dancing the waltz (with Sweetums in drag, swoon), Constantine’s efforts to imitate Kermit (first with his stage fright and then with his mimicking Kermit’s classic video clips (not to mention the awesomeness of seeing those clips on the big screen)), etc.
What I liked not so much: The parts where the Muppets (particularly Constantine) did not move like Muppets. For me, those bits were a real distraction.
Good thing: The songs were EXTREMELY catchy and Constantine.
Bad thing: The amount of deleted scenes in the trailers. It leads to a little disappointment.
Liked: Everyone’s gonna say Constantine, so I’m gonna go with continuity. Revisiting the characters in the same world we left them once in a while is fun!
Disliked: What, did everyone get burnt out on Gonzo after the ’90s? Where IS he?
What I loved: Bret McKenzie has outdone himself on the music. This may be the first Muppet soundtrack I will listen to beginning-to-end every time since The Muppet Movie. My favorite song is “We’re Doing a Sequel,” which is a brilliant send-up of the film-making business.
What I hated: This one actually applies to both The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted. I’m not a fan of the gag where the Muppets do something they supposedly haven’t done in years: Muppet Man and Muppet Ladder. Especially since Muppet Ladder is pretty much what they did to get into the Mallory Gallery in The Great Muppet Caper, but in the opposite direction. The Muppets have a rich enough legacy of wacky plans. Don’t try to retrofit more into that.
Tina “Twiddlebug” Stannert:
Like: Brett McKenzie can give me anything I want.
Not so much: Seeing Kermit in full Hannibal Lecter constraints was very disturbing.
WHAT I LIKED: Not the fact that Bobby Benson and his babies appeared again AND they were given a significant part in the movie, but that they made Bobby speak & David Rudman’s performance of Bobby was perfect!
WHAT I DISLIKED: Why did they just make Robin just a throw-away joke?! It would’ve been greater to have him go along with Walter, Fozzie & Animal to get his uncle back!
What I liked: This movie has such a fantastic, amazing soundtrack. It feels akin to one of the older, classic Muppet films and it has so many great showstopping numbers. Bret really outdid himself on this one!
What I disliked: I have the same major complaint that I had back with The Muppets, ie. not enough Gonzo! He definitely got a bit more screen time, but it was still pretty minimal. It would’ve been nice to see him searching for Kermit with the trio, and I would’ve loved if his bit in the “Interrogation Song” hadn’t been cut completely.
The Good: The Music, Brett McKenzie knocks it out of the park again. Matt Vogel was terrific as Constantine, I hope to see more of hin in the “possible” third.
The Bad: You have Louise Gold(Annie Sue) and YOU DO NOT LET HER SPEAK(I think she might have said one line during the Waltz) . Same goes for Lips, you rebuilt the puppets and you don’t let them say/do ANYTHING!
One thing I liked: The amount, quality and use of music. All of the songs were great and there was a good amount of original music for our friends to sing in comparison to “cover tunes”. Also, the orchestrations and scoring for the film were absolutely top notch. Christophe Beck did a brilliant job in this area and the high level of sophistication in the whole film is a real treat, (plot, dialogue, PUPPETRY – WOW!). It goes over the heads of most of the audience, but I am thrilled at the high standards that were set and achieved.
One thing I didn’t like: That Kermit didn’t sing more and that even though I can watch it again and again… I can’t ever see it again for the FIRST time. That thrill is so special and I wish it could be bottled for those days when you need a little lift. So, they just need to make more.
Liked: Among many, MANY things, I loved the scene where Walter, Fozzie, and Animal investigate, are confronted by, and then escape Constantine on the train. As far as performing, writing, and pure excitement go, that was one of my favorite scenes in the movie.
Disliked: The Muppets were rather clueless throughout the entire movie, which they never have been before, or should ever be. If their obtusity weren’t the case, though, Muppets Most Wanted would be a really different movie, so I’m willing to let it slide in this particular instance.
I loved the music in this film way more than the last time.
I didn’t care for the use of all the celebrities with cameos in the finale. Did they really need to be on the wall instead of more obscure Muppets?
Caroline Blanchard (Age 9):
I liked the scene with Nadya and the shrine to Kermit.
I didn’t like that it had a lot of loud explosions.
Ben Blanchard (Age 6):
Liked: Someone said a bad word (stupid) and her name starts with an M and she says “oink oink.”
Disliked: The bad guy.
Liked: Characters like Link, Rowlf and Dr. Teeth got more lines.
Didn’t Like: No original Mayhem Band song.
Liked: Steve Whitmire. In both the film itself and the various promotions that surrounded it, I was continually struck by one thing: how Steve Whitmire keeps managing to find new ways to wrangle expressions out of Kermit. From lip movements to faces to gestures, Kermit’s more lifelike than ever – and none of that is with the aid of CGI; it’s all Steve’s talent!
Disliked: Lack of due respect for veterans. I don’t know if Bobin/Stoller got the memo, but having Louise Gold back among the Muppet performers is really a Pretty Big Deal. Not only is she one of the remaining cast members from The Muppet Show but she also is a highly regarded performer both as a Muppeteer and in her own right… in both the fields of puppetry and musical theatre. What’s the one thing that fans credit as Gold’s most valuable talent? Her voice. So how come we barely hear it in this film? Annie Sue gets one almost inaudible line. Obviously, there doesn’t need to be a whole Annie Sue subplot built into the script, but really – one line?!
The thing I liked most about the movie was how they treated the Kermit/Piggy relationship. They found a way to have them both learn something new about what they want (Piggy actually likes that Kermit isn’t sure about his intentions, and Kermit actually does want to marry her… someday), but leaving their story’s ending firmly in the all-important status quo (Piggy will always push Kermit toward marriage, and Kermit will always push back).
My least favorite thing is that, try as I might, I cannot sing along to “The Interrogation Song”. It’s such a funny song, but I don’t do much toe-tapping when they lyrics are basically being spoken over oompah music.
One Thing I Liked: The music. All of the original songs were awesome, and I really enjoy the performance of “Together Again” at the end. Speaking of that…
One Thing I Didn’t Like: The cameos in “Together Again”. Yeesh, the compositing on that was terrible.
Click here to dance the waltz with Sweetums in drag on the Tough Pigs forum!
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com