Muppets Most Wanted — Christian Movie Review!
When the Muppets return for a sequel, they are not content to come back in the normal way. And why should they? They’re the Muppets! In true form, this sequel is immediately self-aware that it’s a sequel and wastes no time in making fun of itself when the primary plot idea — a shady tour manager named Dominic Badguy convinces The Muppets to go on a world tour under his care, which has disastrous consequences — is unabashedly discussed, sung about, and constructed before our eyes by the Muppets before the story actually begins. Only the Muppets could get away with that.
Parental Guidance Issues at a Glance…
Sexual Content: None. Well, a pig does kiss a frog. And Tina Fey kisses pictures of Kermit. That’s as steamy as it gets.
Violence/Gore: Just mildly cartoonish Muppet violence. Though I suppose Selma Hayek does get trampled by bulls (Muppet bulls, of course, not real ones).
Language: None — unless you count the hilariously bad (in a good way) French and Russian accents.
Alcohol/Drug/Smoking Content: Only the smoke from Muppets blowing up things.
Frightening/Intense Content: In this PG movie, I suppose the villain Constantine would be frightening for little kids. He creeps around the fog wearing a hood, and in one scene he puts frightening iron teeth in his Kermit-like mouth — sort of like brass knuckles for Muppets. In general, I’d say this movie is probably a little too scary for very young children (under six, I’d say). It wouldn’t be hard for a wee one to have nightmares of Constantine when he’s portrayed as almost a ghost-like figure that terrorizes peoples. The Russian gulag — as silly as it is portrayed — might also be too intense for your very young ones.
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Entertainment Value and Film Craft
It’s the Muppets doing what they do best, so this film is certainly more entertaining and funny than the average PG comedy, and it’s worth an outing with the family. In the beginning of the film, it pokes fun of itself when during a song, a character sings how “everyone knows that sequels are never as good” as the first movie. Sadly, this line in the beginning of the movie is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not as compelling a plot as the first movie. But, if you’ve seen the first Muppets, they had this coming. They did it to themselves because in the first movie they used up every last drop of nostalgia that we feel for the Muppets in the plot construction. It truly was a nostalgia tour that grabbed at our heartstrings. It was also a brilliantly written story about a lonely outsider (Walter) who finally finds his true family (The Muppets). You throw Jason Segal and Amy Adams, who were sorely missed in this second outing, and you’ve got a very nostalgic, heartwarming, engaging story in the first movie. Although the sequel never really captures those emotional notes that made the first film so great, it’s still a very funny movie. Ty Burrell as the Jacques Clouseau-like character Jean Pierre Napoleon was probably the highlight of the film that drew the most laughs — at least for me. However, there are so many cameos in this film, that everyone will probably have their own favorite. All of the gulag scenes with Tina Fey and her motley crew were funny — though if you’re a history buff, you’ll have to shut off your brain from thinking seriously about the actual Russian gulags to avoid getting offended at the film’s extensive use of them for laughs.
Don’t misunderstand my comments above: this movie does have a lot of heart. They just set the bar extremely high for themselves with the first movie. The sequel, however, does tug at the heartstrings here and there. What makes it an uplifting, exhorting movie is its depiction of family and the consequences that come from taking members of our family — especially the leaders of our family (i.e. parents!) — for granted. This film reminds us to be thankful for our loved ones and never become so self-involved that we stop appreciating the value they bring to our lives.
Although not as magical as the first movie, this Muppet adventure still makes for an enjoyable, edifying, funny film experience for the whole family — well, except for maybe the very young children who aren’t quite ready for PG intensity. I’m just glad that when the movie was over, I didn’t have to drive Jean Pierre’s tiny Interpol car home! Hilarious.
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