Muppets Most Wanted

Jim Henson never liked the idea of Disney getting its hands on the Muppets, but that’s where they wound up in 2004, when his family sold the characters from the beloved TV series The Muppet Show for an undisclosed sum. Weirdly, the first two Muppet movies produced by Disney both dwell on nefarious showbiz deals: in the franchise relaunch The Muppets (2011), an oil tycoon schemes to buy the Muppets’ longtime theater, and in this sequel duplicitous manager Ricky Gervais sends the crew on a tour of Europe to facilitate a criminal caper. The verbal wit is fairly weak this time around, though as in the previous film there’s an endless succession of three-second star cameos, and a subplot confining Kermit the Frog to a Russian gulag offers the bizarre spectacle of Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, and Jemaine Clement singing and dancing as gray-faced prisoners. James Bobin directed; with Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, and Celine Dion duetting with Miss Piggy.