If I am getting it all right, this is a film about a film, about a theatre tour. At its very depth that appears what the Muppets Most Wanted is. Though, in its simplicity, it has one of the easiest plots to follow I've seen in a while. That's not a good thing. Sure an element of that is welcome in a “kids movie” but the Muppets are more than that. They are films for the whole family.
Before I get into any more negative aspects, let's start with the pros. Muppets Most Wanted has some great music. It is just as good in my opinion as the previous film. Part of me hopes the song “I'm Number One” will be nominated at the next Oscars. While none of them have the emotional beauty that is “Man or Muppet”, they are all extremely clever and enjoyable as they need to be. The cameos are also as fun as ever and the characters are what they've always been: charmingly idiotic and fun.
What the film is lacking though, is an emotional core. What made the last film so great was the connection between the characters and bigger philosophical issues of friendship, love, sacrifice, courage and having a role in life. It is sad not to see that. While they try to replace the charm of Jason Segel and Amy Adams with the ever funny Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais, it just doesn't work for me. While I typically enjoy almost everything Ricky Gervais does, I really don't here. It feels as if he was walking through the motions not really caring about his character and how he is portrayed. His normal charisma is lacking, except for his dance and song number which I love. Then there's Tina Fey. She is fine. Her performance doesn't feel spectacular but at least it feels as if she was trying. Oh, and I should probably mention Ty Burrell. He is decent and is a good compliment to the Muppet who I can't remember (Oh! Apparently his name is Sam Eagle. I never knew that. . .)
What deeply disturbs me though, is that the film is struggling at the box office. It would be a stab in my sentimental heart if Disney decided to make no more Muppets because they no longer make enough money. As much as this film doesn't hold up to the previous film, it is not bad. If you want something bad, feel free to watch the Smurfs. Sorry, that was a low blow.
All in all, Muppets Most Wanted is a fun family film that has enjoyable cameos and easygoing, lovable characters. It is not a great film but sequels are rarely as good as the first (if you can really call it a sequel with the eight Muppet films. Ok, it is a sequel to the last film.). Have fun with what it is. I recommend you see it either in theatre, or when it comes out on DVD with your kids. 1. Because they'll enjoy it and 2. Because it will feed the unquenchable hunger of the studio for money, which in turn will feed my unquenchable hunger to see more of some of my favorite childhood characters.
My personal preference: 3/5
How well it was made: 3/5