The success of Jason Segel's reboot of everyone's favorite felt puppets two years back led to a quickie sequel by Disney. We all love the Kermit, Piggy, heck even new guy Walter! So what's not to love about a sequel?
Quite a bit acutally.
Too many cameos (yes, even for a Muppet movie), not enough musical numbers and an uninspired story that drags on far too long makes us start reconsider: Maybe Waldorf and Statler were right all along?
Here's what sinks the flick for new and old fans alike:
1. Constantine and His No. 2: Completely lifting the "wrong Muppet framed" plot device from The Great Muppet Caper, our favorite frog is replaced by a look-a-like: Constantine. The Russian-born, self-titled World's No. 1 Criminal, sports a mole and sounds nothing like Kermit the Frog. The rest of the Muppets don't seem to care, since the green meanie lets them do whatever they want. (Go Gonzo!) Constantine's plan is the use the Muppets Show as a distraction to rob jewels from neighboring museums. For a while Constantine's poor imitations of Kermie are fun. For a while. Ricky Gervais plays Dominic Badguy (get it?) who sets up Kermit. A bit more of his signature role as David Brent would have given his character the edge needed to be a more compelling (and humorous) bad guy.
2. Tina Fey's Best Costar Since Amy Phoeler: Kermit ends up imprisoned in Gulag, a prison camp. Tina Fey is the heartless warden with a soft spot for variety acts. Jemaine Clement, Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo are part of an inmates musical troupe. The Russian gags are obvious, but these scenes are the film's highlight.
3. Who, Moi? As with the last film, Frank Oz the original voice-puppeteer of Piggy (as well as Fozzie Bear, Animal and Yoda) did not participate. A shame, since there's a possibility that Piggy and Kermie will finally tie the knot. Can Piggy tell the difference between the real Kermit and an imposter? We certainly did. Please, get Frank Oz back.
4. More Muppets Please: Lady Gaga, Céline Dion, Sean "Diddy" Combs and too many more humans mug the screen throughout. None of them leave the impression Orson Welles did inThe Muppet Movie back in '79. Except for the most recognizable ones like Fozzie, many of the Muppets barely show up. Walter, the last movie's best new character is severely underused.
5. OK, That Opening Was Kind of Adorable: Starting moments after 2011's The Muppets, the whole gang puts on a terrifically meta song and dance number called "We're Doing a Sequel." Jokes are made about how this is actually the seventh one since the original, how follow-ups are never as good and so on. How right you are Dr. Bunsen! Another smile-inducing moment: Swedish Chef playing chess with Death a la The Seventh Seal. All good. But the awkward stand-ins for Segel and Amy Adams? Distracting and unnecessary.