Maybe the problem with rebooting is getting that first movie out of the way. Take The Muppets. It's directed by James Bobin, as is Muppets Most Wanted, but there's a significant difference. The Muppets is slow, melancholy, and though it has moments of great humor, it introduces the worst Muppet character ever: Walter. He's the Muppet version of Jar Jar Binks. Muppets Most Wanted is cheerful, laugh-out-loud funny and features one of the best Muppets ever (who has been absent since the 1970s): Mean Kermit.
The difference? Jason Segel co-wrote The Muppets and is absent from Muppets Most Wanted. There you have it, people. Segel and the Muppets just don't mix.
In this goofy sequel, we have Constantine, the world's most dangerous frog, escaping from a Siberian gulag and taking Kermit's place in a Muppet Show tour. Ricky Gervais is an evil henchman, Tina Fey hams it up as a Russian prison guard, and Ty Burrell makes a dopey French police detective, though the "Gee, aren't the French lazy" gags are tired.
Constantine's plot to steal England's crown jewels makes no sense, but it's a delightful kind of no sense, and if the point is gleeful silliness, who cares? There are a few too many songs (though Miss Piggy has a good number), and that thing Animal is trying to tell everyone? It's really, really important.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED
Directed by James Bobin
With Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear
Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14
Santa Fe Reporter