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Non-Review Review: The Muppets Most Wanted

“We’re doing a sequel,” the Muppets sing in the opening number of The Muppets Most Wanted. “That’s what they do in Hollywood. And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good.”

That’s the sort of wry self-awareness we’ve come to expect from the gang, but there’s also a note of truth in the statement. The Muppets was a cinematic highlight of 2011, and the best movie musical of the past decade. It was light, it was fun, it was sweet and it was moving. There was – as with the best Muppets material – an endearing sincerity underpinning all the well-observed gags and broad comedy.

The Muppets Most Wanted falls into the traditional pattern of Muppet sequels. Like The Great Muppet Caper or Muppet Treasure Island before it, there’s a sense that The Muppets Most Wanted has been constructed as a lighter film. The film lacks the emotional resonance of The Muppets, instead opting for high-concept fun. The result is endearing and enjoyable, but doesn’t feel quite as satisfying.

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Are the Muppets the Meme of the Moment?

I don’t know what it is, there’s just something incredibly sweet about knowing that aspects of your own childhood are still hip and cool. Yes, I’m 23 years old, but I sound like I’m 80. Anyway, with not one but two big budget Tintin adventures on the way (which involved – though he’s departed – Stephen Moffat alongside Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg) and the surprising on-line popularity of the string of Muppet Studio Music Videos, I actually feel quite good. There are their three releases so far peppered through their post. If you haven’t had a chance to hear them, they’re well worth a look. You know you want to.

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