Audio Transcript of This Review:
I am a new guy when it comes to Muppets, but as a major part of American Pop Culture, and following the glowing reviews, I went to go check out The Muppets 2011, and then about 2 hours after, Muppets Most Wanted.
As a guy whose only knowledge of the Muppets is Kermit, Miss Piggy, the bear that says Wocka Wocka, the Not-Swedish Chef, and Michael Caine as Scrooge, I am not someone familiar with the characters.
2011 was the Muppet’s big cinematic comeback. It managed to be really Meta with how its plot was. There were only 4 human stars, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, and Chris Cooper. They’re playing the protagonist’s brother, his fiancé, a studio executive, and an evil oilbaron respectively. It follows the story of Walter, a big fan of the Muppets who eventually has Kermit get them back together for one final show in order to stop Muppet Studios from being torn down.
The first movie is very good, and plays very much on the audience’s feelings. It’s got enough heart in it that it works. There’s a sweet story about believing in yourself and holding onto friendships, and it’s a very funny and heartwarming film. It’s everything you want in a children’s film, and it’s better than anyone would’ve expected. I didn’t need to know all the names of the characters to understand that the Muppets feel irrelevant in this day and age, but they’re gonna give it their all. The Muppets 2011 is just a project with a ton of love put into trying to let everyone have fun. It didn’t lock out people like me, and it left some heart scars.
Also, there were many celebrity cameos because the Muppets are so beloved, most prominently, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, and NPH.
Also, there are the songs, because the series is known for the singing. The first movie’s highlight piece is Man or Muppet, featuring Jason Segel opposite Walter in a touching piece.
Now, the second film likes to parody the Sequel idea. The first movie was more focused on how the Muppets were irrelevant, and they can’t do something nearly that touching again, because when Muppets 2011 came out, there wasn’t a Muppets Movie released in theaters for like 12 years. This movie goes out of its way to make fun of the fact that it’s a sequel, and just try to have fun. The first song in the movie is about how Sequels are never as good as the original.
This movie got me with the trailers, which made it look like a blast, and this is the reason I watched both the films on the same day. Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey are our stars here, and I enjoyed their chemistry with their Muppet opposites more than the humans in the first one.
The first movie struggled with including too much Jason Segel in a movie that was unbalanced in deciding if Walter or Kermit is the protagonist. This movie makes up its mind in focusing more on the eponymous Muppets.
This story is about the Muppets going on world tour, while Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog, escapes from a Gulag that’s being run by Tina Fey. The Muppets go on tour with their new Manager, Dominic Badguy, who is not dangerous or villainous in any way, shape or form. The other subplot is Ty Burrell as an Interpol agent working with a Muppet, who I researched has the name of “Sam” working to track down the criminals.
This is a funny film, with lots of silly gags that don’t do anything provocative. There’s a lot less fourth wall breaking, and the cameos seem more numerous this time around, with Christoph Waltz, Chloe Grace Moretz as a delivery girl, Tom Hiddleston as an escape artist inmate, and Usher as an Usher.
This film’s core is built around 4 main character interactions. Constantine and Dominic’s relationship is one of my favorite parts of this film, where the evil frog is a total prick, and Dominic is the one doing all the heavy lifting. Tina Fey and Kermit also play off each other well too, with a surprise that Fey is a huge Kermit fan. Then Sam and Ty Burrell discover they have more in common than they think while they search for the criminals. Finally, Miss Piggy and Kermit have more relationship focus in this one, and that makes the final act of the story.
This time, the human performers enjoy themselves, knowing what type of film they’re in, because the focus on the first film was to be nice and sweet, this one is to be entertaining. That’s not to dilute the film’s message of cherishing your friends however.
As for the highlight song of this movie, it’s the duet Constantine has with Ricky Gervais about how evil they are, and how Ricky will always be number 2.
So, in conclusion, both these films are great, lighthearted watches that are worth the time. Go give them a look, if you’re a fan or not, you should get some enjoyment out of them.