When The Muppet Show went off the air, it was kind of a sad time. However, the Muppets would very quickly be back as today’s movie was released shortly after the show went off the air. Now I know I didn’t see this in theaters but I did watch this in elementary school twice. I have always found that kind of funny for some reason. Anyways, lets continue down the fun times of life with today’s movie, The Great Muppet Caper.
The plot: Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo the Great are flying in a balloon while commenting about the opening credits. When the credits end, the balloon lands in the middle of New York City and they start singing about the plot of the movie, where Kermit and Fozzie are identical twin reporters and Gonzo is their photographer. Deciding to write a story about their joining the newspaper, they completely miss a thief stealing some jewels from Lady Holiday, a famous London fashion designer. The editor of the paper berates them for missing the story and fires them but Kermit says they will go to London to interview Lady Holiday and catch the thieves. With no money, Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are forced to fly in the cargo hold of a plane but since the plane is heading for Italy, they are tossed out of the plane as they fly over England. Landing in a pond, they are told of a place that they can stay for free and make their way to the Happiness Hotel, where they meet the manager, Pops, as well as several of the guests including Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, Sam Eagle, Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker and Rizzo the Rat (working as a bellhop). The next day, Lady Holiday is critiquing some of her models when Miss Piggy shows up looking for a job as a model, but takes the receptionist job Lady Holiday offers her. Three of Lady Holiday’s models (Carla, Darla, and Marla) are complaining about Lady Holiday and talk about stealing some more of her jewels when Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo arrive in the elevator and ask where Lady Holiday’s office is. Kermit heads to the office to speak with Lady Holiday and seeing Piggy in the office mistakes Piggy for Lady Holiday. Piggy is smitten with Kermit and agrees to go on a date with Kermit and makes up an address for Kermit to pick her up at. Kermit is getting ready for his date and Fozzie is hurt that Kermit wants to alone but when Kermit says he can come, Fozzie quickly tells everyone that they can come too. Piggy breaks into a upscale townhouse, surprising the couple, Neville and Dorcas, that actually live there. When Kermit arrives and asks for a tour of the place, Piggy tries rushing him through the house and when Neville catches them, she asks him for the name of a good restaurant. Leaving the house, Piggy is surprised to see everyone from the hotel in the bus and they head to the restaurant. At the restaurant, Kermit is shocked at the prices and wonders how they are going to pay for it and Gonzo decides to go around taking photos of the couples at the table for $10 each. Meanwhile, Lady Holiday shows up at the restaurant with her brother Nicky and they are seated at their usual table but Lady Holiday is nervous about wearing her diamond necklace and asks Nicky to get Stanley, the maitre d’, and have it placed in the safe but Nicky actually heads to the back of the restaurant and unlocks the back door. Outside, Carla, Darla, and Marla arrive and make their way around the restaurant. Back inside, Kermit and Piggy are dancing and Lady Holiday recognizes her and points her out to Nicky, who becomes infatuated with Piggy. Suddenly, the lights go out and while it is dark, Nicky steals Lady Holiday’s necklace and passes it to Marla but Gonzo manages to take a picture of it. When the lights come on, Lady Holiday screams about her necklace being stolen and Kermit realizes that Piggy lied to him and sees her rushing out of the restaurant. Back at the Happiness Hotel, Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are developing the pictures in the hotel bathroom and find the one that shows the theft but before it is finished developing, the door bursts open as the other guests are desperate to use the bathroom and the picture is ruined. Kermit heads to the park and when he sees Piggy, he confronts her about lying to him but the end up reconciling and going on a bike ride through the park. Later, Lady Holiday is hosting a fashion show and Carla, Darla, and Marla convince Nicky to frame Piggy for the thefts but he is reluctant to do so since he likes her. When Marla fakes spraining her knee, Nicky tells Piggy that she has to go on in her place, which she quickly agrees to. Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo attend the show and are surprised to see Piggy on stage. Piggy is so happy to finally be a model that she ends up falling into the fountain at the front of the stage while she is daydreaming. Nicky brings her her coat and as she puts it on, she finds Lady Holiday’s necklace, which Nicky had placed in her pocket. Piggy is arrested for stealing the necklace and as she is being taken away, Lady Holiday is talking with reporters and says that her most famous diamond, the Baseball Diamond, will be placed on permanent display at the Mallory Gallery. Nicky, Carla, Darla, and Marla make plans to steal it but Gonzo, who was hiding under a table backstage hears them. Gonzo tells everyone what he overheard and Kermit and Fozzie convinces everyone to help catch the crooks. Kermit pretends to be a lawyer and goes to see Piggy, telling her what is going on and that they plan on catching Nicky and the models. Nicky and the models make their way to the gallery and begin disabling the security systems. The Muppets try to get inside the gallery by distracting the guards but the guard dogs force them to climb up onto the roof. Meanwhile, Piggy breaks out of prison and steals a truck to make her way to the Gallery but when the truck runs out of gas, a motorcycle falls off the back of a truck and she uses that to continue her journey, evading the police in the process. Nicky and the models steal the Baseball Diamond but the Muppets drop down from the ceiling, taking the diamond from them and playing keep away from the crooks. Nicky eventually gets the diamond and grabs Kermit to use as a hostage but Piggy crashes the motorcycle through a window, knocking down Nicky, then takes out the models with her karate. Nicky and the girls are arrested and the Muppets fly back to America but again, they are forced to fly in the baggage hold and are thrown out of the plane. As they parachute down, they begin singing over the end credits and as the credits come to an end, Gonzo takes a picture of the audience, causing the screen to go black.
The Great Muppet Caper received mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “The Great Muppet Caper is overplotted and uneven, but the appealing presence of Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang ensure that this heist flick is always breezily watchable.” Surprisingly, this was the only Muppets feature film to be directed by Jim Henson. The movie was a success at the box office, earning over $31 million domestically, making it the 5th highest grossing Muppet film.
To be honest, this was a little disappointing for a Muppet movie but still fun to watch. The puppet work with the Muppets was really good and Charles Grodin (Nicky) and Diana Rigg (Lady Holiday) both did a good job. There weren’t as many cameos in this movie as the previous one but some of the ones they had were really good, particularly the John Cleese one and the one with Peter Ustinov and Oscar the Grouch. The story was decent but I think they did the whole 4th-wall break too many times as it wound up making it seem a little weak. Like I said, the puppetry work was really good and the interactions with people and the Muppets was really good. Not as good as the first but a good movie to watch none-the-less.
Rating: 4 out of 5