xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"Muppets Most Wanted" opens with a self-referential song that comments on the fact that sequels are never quite as good as the film that inspired them and then goes on to prove the point.
When everyone's favorite frog, bear, pig, and whatever Gonzo is returned in 2011 for "The Muppets," the result was a surprising creative success. And just as the pond-hopping "The Great Muppet Caper" followed on the heels of "The Muppet Movie" over thirty years ago, it makes a certain degree of sense that this generation's Muppet sequel would also be a crime-laced adventure for the wisecracking vaudevillian puppets. However, the creative team behind this follow-up have misplaced and mis-prioritized so much of what worked about "The Muppets" that it's hard to believe sometimes that it's not an entirely different crew. "Muppets Most Wanted" has the smell of straight-to-DVD sequel from top to bottom; something that only superficially resembles what came before.
The most significant and bizarre problem with "Muppets Most Wanted" is a lack of a protagonist. That might sound silly for a film cast largely with puppets but "The Muppets" gave us multiple characters to follow, including not just the introduction of the charming Walter but the return of Kermit alongside engaging characters played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams. In a baffling screenwriting move, Bobin and Nicholas Stoller not only separate Kermit from his friends for most of the film's running time but don't fill in that gap with another lead to follow. It is a story without an anchor, a film that bounces back and forth between its sometimes entertaining subplots but without a hint of thematic density. Yes, I know it's "just" a lighthearted family diversion but the reasons "The Muppet Movie" and "The Muppets" resonated was because they touched on issues that were identifiable to both kids and adults—we all knew what Kermit meant when he said it wasn't easy being green or had our own rainbow connection to find. "Muppets Most Wanted" touches on little more than silly accents.
Now that "The Muppet Show" is back on the international radar in the world of these films, Dominic Badguy (a winning Ricky Gervais) swoops in to encourage Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang to go on a world tour. Of course, with a name like Badguy, their new manager has a dastardly plan up his sleeve. On their first stop in Germany, Kermit is kidnapped and shuttled off to a Russian gulag, where he is meant to take the place of an international criminal "bad frog" named Constantine, who just happens to look exactly like Kermie, just with one of the cinematically historic signs of evil—a facial mole.