*** out of ****
The 2011 feature The Muppets revitalized Kermit the Frog and the rest of the gang. Their last theatrical film before that was the forgettable Muppets from Space in 1999. A few TV movies followed, but they were back on top in 2011. The Muppets was infused with clever gags, but I found the movie a little sloppy. It introduced a new character, Walter, and began to tell his story, but halfway through the film decides to focus on the broken relationship between Kermit and Miss Piggy, which wasn't that interesting thanks to a very vague back story. Now, we have a follow-up, Muppets Most Wanted, and it's consistently amusing and a better made movie.
While preparing for a world tour, the Muppets naively hire a shady new manager named...Dominic Badguy (played with enthusiasm by Ricky Gervais). As it turns out, Constantine, a Kermit look-a-like except for a facial mole, is in cahoots with Badguy and they are planning a major jewel heist. Meanwhile, through mistaken identity, the real Kermit gets thrown in a Russian Gulag run by a warden (Tina Fey) who develops an unhealthy obsession with the frog.
Muppets Most Wanted has a grand old time making fun of itself. There is a self-deprecating song about sequels, and many jokes about heist movie clichés. My favorite scene is when Walter, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo are oblivious to clues that Badguy and Constantine are up to no good. There are also the usual funny cameos - Ty Burrell (TV's "Modern Family") as a French police inspector, and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) and Danny Trejo (Machete) as a couple of prisoners.
At 112 minutes, Muppets Most Wanted is on the long-ish side, and occasionally it shows, but in all it's an enjoyable Muppet movie.