Release dates March 11, 2014 (El Capitan Theatre), March 21, 2014 (United States)
Directed by: James Bobin
Produced by: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Written by: Nicholas Stoller, James Bobin
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Steve Whitmire
Music by: Christophe Beck
This eighth theatrical film featuring the Muppets is a sequel to 2011’s The Muppets and stars Ricky Gervais. Kermit, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey, Picking up where the last Muppets movie left off, Walter is now an official part of the Muppets group and the team lead by the Kermit (Steve Whitmire) realizes they have no clue what to do next. Enter slick talent agent Dominic Bad Guy (Ricky Gervais), who convinces the Muppets to embark on an international tour starting with Berlin, Germany. Unbeknown to the Muppets, Bad guy is in cahoots with the evil frog Constantine, the world’s most wanted criminal, who escapes prison and switches identities with Kermit in Berlin. Mistaken for Constantine, Kermie is caught off to the Gulag in Siberia, while his doppelganger pretends to be the beloved Muppet. With Kermit in a notorious Russian prison, Constantine uses the Muppets’ performances to cover for heists all across Europe. Meanwhile, an Interpol agent (Ty Burrell) and CIA Agent Sam Eagle (Eric Jacobson) work together to solve the mysterious high-profile robberies.
As the musical number we’re doing a Sequel makes clear, “everybody knows the sequel is never quite as good” as the original, but that’s not strictly true. Sure, the charming couple played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams are gone, but this adventure is a return to the old – school Muppets: a globe-hopping trip, a case of stolen identity, and plenty of musical numbers that include celebrity cameos from a cast as diverse as the intended audience. Oscar winner Bret McKenzie is back as music supervisor and original-song composer, and his new tracks are witty and silly and everything kids will want. But the actual song-and-dance numbers are every bit as charming and appealing.
As for the story, the celebs are all happy to comply with the silliness: from Tina Fey as a gulag warden and the prison gang featuring Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, and Jemaine Clement to Burrell as leisurely French Interpol agent and of course Gervais as Constantine’s slightly sinister sidekick. But the real stars, of course, are the Muppets themselves. They will entertain audiences of all ages with their meta jokes and knowing the songs and their interpersonal battle. Miss Piggy is a real standout as the character with the most lose (or gain?) when faced with Constantine’s marriage proposal. Is the fake Kermit able to give everyone what they want, or is it only the authentic Kermit who keeps the Muppets together? We already know the answer, but that doesn’t mean the adventure isn’t a fast and fun ride.