So earlier this week I was invited to the media preview screening of Muppets Most Wanted, the second Muppets movie following...... The Muppets.
Picking right where the previous movie left off, Kermit and gang have pulled off a successful comeback, and they want to keep that momentum going. Tour manager Dominic Badguy ("It's pronounced Badgie... it's French... meaning... good guy."), played by the ever-talented Ricky Gervais, enters the scene with perfect timing to offer to make that a reality, with... of course... a darker secret behind him.
What struck me about this film was its irreverence. But it's easy to be irreverent. Just systematically go against the grain, offend plenty of people along the way and not give a flying hockey puck about said people. Muppets Most Wanted, however, manages to display their nonchalance to Hollywood and their own tall legacy in a coy, teasing and completely clean way. In other words, good old humor that demands more effort in both writing and execution.
Ty Burrell, better known as the hapless father Phil Dunphy in arguably the best sitcom on American TV today, Modern Family, and Tina Fey, from SNL and sometimes known as Sarah Palin's comic double, both take on accented roles in this movie, Ty Burrell playing a French Interpol inspector and Tina Fey playing a Russian prison guard. I personally think this is a risky task to undertake. Maintaining a fake accent consistently for a full-length feature film isn't an easy task, and efforts can all too easily fall to derisive calls of "trying too hard". Ty and Tina manage to pull this off decently though, turning their respective imitation dials to 11.
If you're looking for plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, and enjoy being the only one in an entire theatre to go "HAHA" because that means only you were smart enough to catch a less obvious reference (no come on, don't giggle like you don't like it, you know you've just one-upped like 149 other people), Muppets Most Wanted is showing in cinemas islandwide. Go catch it this weekend!