REVIEW: Whatever they want, these Muppets need better editing - WNCN: News, Weather

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Whatever they want, these Muppets need better editing

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Directed by James Bobin, "Muppets Most Wanted" stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. Directed by James Bobin, "Muppets Most Wanted" stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

You'll never hear me complain there being too much Muppets.

I've watched and enjoyed all of their films -- some better than others -- and could watch re-runs of their television shows for days on end.

I'll watch every Muppet they ever make and will never, ever say anything like, "You know, I think they've made enough Muppet movies." But "Muppets Most Wanted" taught me the unfortunate lesson that there can be too much Muppets for one sitting.

"Wanted" is painfully long -- a pity, too, because it gets off to a great start. The first 15 minutes are self-aware, self-deprecating and contain one of the best musical numbers I've seen in any Muppets.

I was bouncing in my seat and grinning, excited for another fun adventure with the gang. I would have sung along, too, but I didn't know the [expletive] words since I'd never seen it before.

I probably won't learn the words, either, because I didn't have much of a desire to watch it again by the time it finally ends. To put it into perspective, I went and saw the 2011 "Muppets" film three times at the theater.

"Wanted" loses its way shortly after introducing the film's primary plotline involving Constantine, a Russian (I think?) frog that looks like Kermit, who plots with Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) to steal the Crown Jewels (how original!).

It's not a very interesting plot aside from some very funny jokes about "The Lemur" that gets the film's best pay-off joke. There's also a subplot set in a Russian prison where a tiny woman named Nadya (Tina Fey) is in charge of keeping the world's most dangerous criminals (including Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo) in check.

I'm not sure how they expect a tiny woman to keep these supposedly terrible people in line but, well, why am I talking about this?

Seriously, I shouldn't be discussing the logic of a Muppet movie. It's a Muppet movie, who cares if it makes sense? I don't. Well, I usually don't. The fact that I spent time during the movie pondering these things and even bothered you with it -- that pretty much says it all.

It's akin to my general rule about movies involving time-travel: if you're thinking about the time-travel paradoxes while you're watching the movie, you probably aren't enjoying it. All time-travel movies have paradoxes that you will think about. But I pondered the paradoxes in "Looper" and "Peggy Sue Got Married" hours after I saw these wonderful films.

I only ever ponder the paradoxes during a movie if I'm not enjoying the film.

The final 45 minutes of "Muppets Most Wanted" drag on-and-on-and-on-and-on… you get the drift. The jokes are lifeless and everyone feels like they're going through the motions because they have to, not because they want to be there.

I was thinking about the illogical circumstances and about what I was going to eat for lunch, and didn't care one bit about how the movie ended -- so long as it just ended already.

Turkey reuben, in case you were curious.

"Muppets Most Wanted" is rated PG for some mild action.

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