Evil frog spawns international mayhem in 'Muppets Most Wanted'

Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:53pm EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif (Reuters) - He's pure green evil and save for a big mole on the side of his face, he's a dead ringer for genteel Kermit the Frog.

"Constantine, bad guy," he introduces himself in his Russian accent, wearing a face that hardly knows how to grin.

The newest member of the Muppets family of puppet characters, and easily its most villainous, gets his star turn in "Muppets Most Wanted," a romping musical caper that hearkens back to satirical 1960s international heist films, like Peter Sellers' "The Pink Panther" series.

The film, which is set to be released in the United States on Friday by Walt Disney Co, also has a strong host of stars, including British comedian Ricky Gervais, and Americans Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, along with dozens of cameo appearances from the likes of Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Christoph Waltz.

But Constantine himself, who was born in a Russian pond, is hardly inept in his plot as the world's "No. 1 Criminal" to steal the Crown Jewels in London, while turning the Muppets' variety act into his unwitting accomplices.

Evil plotting comes naturally to him.

"It is how I was born and created. I was bad guy from little tadpole," Constantine said in an interview with Gervais by his side. "I am for the one. I am just for myself."

First, he gets the world's "No. 2 Criminal" Dominic Badguy (pronounced the French way), played by Gervais, to convince the Muppets to be their manager for a European tour as he escapes from a maximum security gulag deep in Siberia.   Continued...

The characters of Kermit and Miss Piggy arrive at the premiere of "Muppets Most Wanted" in Hollywood, California in this file photo taken March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files