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MUPPETS MOST WANTED
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz
Director: James Bobin
Audio: DTS HD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Studio: Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 107 Minutes
Release Date: August 12, 2014

You have wocka-ed your last wocka, bear.”

Film ***1/2

The 2011 revamp of The Muppets was one of the most joyous experiences for Muppet and movie fan alike (luckily, I happen to be both). I eagerly awaited the inevitable sequel that would follow, and much to my delight, Muppets Most Wanted is every bit as engagingly funny, zany and endearing as its predecessor. There’s no presence of Jason Segel this time around, unfortunately, but writer Nicholas Stoller and director James Bobin are back to deliver one of the better sequels in recent memory.

This time around, we get a clever riff on spy, heist and prison escape movies, in addition to a movie that occasionally pokes fun at the fact that it’s is a sequel and will never surpass the first movie. It picks up at the end of the musical number that closed the previous movie, only to begin with another song about the gang doing a sequel. The cleverness only progesses from this point!

We are introduced to a criminal frog named Constantine, who also happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit. Having just escaped a maximum security prison in Siberia, he plots to kidnap Kermit and have him thrown in jail while he assumes his identity while plotting a series of jewel heists as the Muppets engage on a world tour managed by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), who is actually Constantine’s criminal associate. As expected, Fozzie, Gonzo, Walter and the rest of the gang are instantly fooled by the deceiving frog, who even manages to woo Miss Piggy in a major way.

Meanwhile, Kermit finds himself in the same Siberian prison, or Gulag, that previously housed his look-alike. He claims he isn’t the criminal frog, though prison guard Nadya (Tina Fey) isn’t convinced, especially since Kermit happens to have Constantine’s signature mole on his face (courtesy of the evil frog himself). His only hope is that his friends will eventually catch on to the plot and come to save him...until then, he’s a resident at Russia’s glorious big house, as Nadya puts it.

Another key character, and maybe the funniest, is French Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell), who reluctantly pairs up with fellow detective Sam Eagle to investigate the recent series of jewel heists that have taken place. Jean Pierre is so incredibly inept that one wonders if he and Inspector Clouseau were related. One of the highlights of the movie is a hilarious musical number where in which the two conduct some interrogations.

As was the case with the previous movie, this sequel is littered with many lively cameos. A few of them are so quick you might miss them if you blink (like James McAvoy as a UPS delivery man). But among the star studded pop ups, we get the likes of Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Salma Hayek, Frank Langella, Christoph Waltz and Tony Bennett.

Like it’s predecessor, Muppets Most Wanted is a movie that will easily put a smile on your face, which will last long after you watch it. Both The Muppets and their human actor counterparts are in superb top form, and the laughs and music are non stop throughout the movie! It’s a terrific sequel, and I’m hoping we get another!

Video ****

Disney delivers an remarkable eye-catching Blu-ray presentation of a movie that is bursting with colors from beginning to end! The lively set pieces are a treat for the eye, and the Muppets themselves have never looked more astounding! Image detail is stupendous throughout and color appearance is nothing short of spectacular! This studio has done a commendable job of keeping this franchise alive, and making sure it looks better than ever!

Audio ****

Like any Muppet movie, this is a musically infused presentation...and with a 7.1 DTS HD mix, you can certainly expect one showstopper of a presentation! The music numbers are all fantastically presented, and dialogue delivery balances tremendously well with background music and assorted action. Nothing but superb lossless sound quality from beginning to end!

Features ***

For starters, this Disney release boasts one of the best menu screens I’ve seen in a long time. Labeled “The Unnecessarily Extended Edition”, it includes three versions of the movie; the original theatrical release, the unnecessarily extended version and even a Statler and Waldorf cut of the movie (which is as hysterical as one would expect...and only runs a full minute). In addition, we get “The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History”, which runs a good ten minutes, a brief bit titled “Rizzo’s Biggest Fan”, which is pretty clever, and a music video for “I’ll Get You What You Want” by Bret McKenzie.

This Blu-ray combo pack also comes with a bonus DVD copy and a Digital HD digital copy version.

Summary:

Muppets Most Wanted delivers the same amount of joyous fun and entertainment as that of its predecessor, making it one of the all around better sequels in quite a while! If your a die hard muppet fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this most terrific Blu-ray from Disney!

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