Three years after The Muppets gave our favourite puppet pals a reboot, this adventure kicks off just as the last movie finished, with Kermit, Miss Piggy and pals enjoying a Muppet revival. Encouraged by a supposed concert promoter called Dominic Badguy (Gervais), they agree to a world tour, unaware it is all part of Dominic’s plan to free notorious criminal Constantine from Russian prison, and switch him with Kermit (aside from a black mole, they look exactly alike) so Constantine can carry out an evil world plan while poor Kermit languishes in a gulag wondering why no one is coming to rescue him. Will the Muppets figure out that they have an impostor in their midst, and will two bungling cops – Sam the Eagle and French Inspector Jean Pierre Napoleon (Burrell) solve the robberies that seem to be taking place wherever the Muppets are on their tour?
Like the previous film, this mixes family fun with lots of humour aimed at adults who grew up with The Muppet Show and the early Muppet movies. There are cameos galore that will mean nothing to junior viewers – Tina Fey as the gulag commander, Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo as prisoners (who put on their own song and dance numbers), Tom Hiddleston as the Great Escapo, Hugh Bonneville as a journalist and Tony Bennett, Salma Hayek and Christoph Waltz as themselves – with the only nod to a young audience being the brief appearance of teen Disney star Ross Lynch.
That said, kids will still chuckle at Badguy and Constantine’s song and dance number even if they don’t know who Ricky Gervais is, and there is more action and adventure here than in the slower and more nostalgic movie that came before. It’s a bit of a frantic mess as the filmmakers try to please both adults and kids in the audience, but Kermit, Piggy, Animal and pals are still cute and watchable enough to make this a likeable romp for the family.
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