See It or Skip It: The Muppets Most Wanted

[twitter]I *really* don’t know why The Muppets aren’t on prime time tv. In this era of variety shows that gives us Dancing With The Stars, The Voice, and American Idol, there is room for a Sunday night 30 minute variety show starring The Muppets.

It’s fun, it’s wholesome, it works on two levels with goofy humor for the kids and more inside sarcastic jokes for the adults.

Alas, we don’t have The Muppets on tv anymore, so we have to wait for their resurrected movie franchise every couple of years.

I felt like The Muppets Most Wanted was released in November. The commercials have been eternal promoting this movie to the point where the boys knew the difference between Kermit and Constantine, and knew many of the lines before the film even [spacebar] [spacebar] [spacebar] opened. So there had been much anticipation for the film in our house, and with my wife working late, I took the chance to escape to an early show with the boys.

It didn’t live up to it. The movie itself gives a nod to sequels not living up to the original in the opening number, and while it was okay, it wasn’t great.

While the kids will enjoy some of the slapstick humor, the plot does get a little detailed and many of the gags will go waaay over the heads of young kids (there’s a Macarena joke in there). It also clocks in at 1h52m, and while that’s entertainment value for money, 2 hours in a theatre is a little long for little kids. Zacharie (6) seemed captured by the whole thing, Charlie (4) faded away a couple of times.

Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais are wonderful in the film that becomes a Where’s Waldo exercise for parents trying to count the cameos. There are many, but not as many as  I would have liked, some I didn’t even recognize until reading this inside joke list later, and some that go by in less than 2 seconds (Diddy).

Charlie’s favourite part is when Miss Piggy goes karate on Constantine in the helicopter climax. She picks  him up and bashes him into the windows and swings him about the cockpit.

My favorite part was Constantine doing an impression of Kermit. I liked it so much, I’ve  been doing an impression of the impression all night and Charlie has been reminding me all night I’m not allowed to do impressions of bad guys, only good guys.

VERDICT: While I would desperately love to have The Muppet Show back on tv, this movie flies a little too far over the heads of the young audience it’s designed to attract.  Parents will enjoy the nostalgia, but while The LEGO Movie managed to toss a film out for both generations, The Muppets Most Wanted misses the mark. See it with your older kids, or by yourself.

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