Sunday, 27 January 2013

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Cinema Review

Written By Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach
Directed By Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon

Genre
Animated, Comedy, Family

Cast

Ben Stiller as Alex
Chris Rock as Marty
David Schwimmer as Melman
Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria
Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien
Cedric The Entertainer as Maurice
Andy Richter as Mort
Frances McDormand as Captain Chantel DuBois
Jessica Chastain as Gia
Bryan Cranston as Vitaly
Martin Short as Stefano
Vinnie Jones as Freddie the Dog
Steve Jones as Jonesy the Dog
Nick Fletcher as Frankie the Dog
Paz Vega as Horses
Frank Welker as Sonya

Certificate PG

Synopsis

Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are still trying to find their way back to New York City but when their journey takes them through Europe while being chased by a woman obsessed with catching Alex, they fight a travelling circus.

Will this be their way home using the perfect cover story?

Review

I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the first 'Madagascar' movie and felt the the humour in that one felt really forced and the story itself was a rather big cliche.

Perhaps that's why I went in to this one with quite low expectations.  For once I was relatively surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie itself.

The best way to describe this would be that with some movie franchises are just prepared to roll through the motions for a quick buck.  Look at the 'Shrek' movies as an example.  That series started off really promisingly but soon turned in to a cheap and cliched parody of itself.  Other franchises take a while to warm up but then come out with a warm hearted and funny story.  This is one of the latter.

This, the third installment of 'Madagascar', manages to have a hell of a lot of great moments packed in to a relatively trim running time of just over an hour and a half.  The characters aren't just there to make up the numbers, instead being given time to grow and to have their separate moments in the spotlight.

The old favourites are all here and accounted for.  King Julien threatening to steal the show with some of his more outlandish moments having both myself and my little lad laughing like crazy.  The new characters, the best of these being Vitaly, a grumpy soul that longs for the 'good old days' of the circus where he was the king of the circus.  They're not just there to provide laughs, their stories really have a lot of heart and I found myself a hell of a lot more interested in them because of that.

My one complaint about the movie would be that of the character of DuBois.  While she is relentless in her pursuit of the gang of animals, I just didn't really feel like she put the group in any form of danger.  That said, there are some very funny moments where she has her clashes with the animals, the best of these being the chase scene near the beginning of the movie.

All in all, is it a perfect movie?  No.  But is it enjoyable for the family?  Definitely.  I took my little lad to see it as part of a matinee thing the cinema put on during the weekend and he loved it.  You can't really ask for more from a family movie than the little ones enjoying it can you?

Movie 3.5/5

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