Saturday, June 16, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Movie Review

Starring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinckett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short and Frances McDormand.  Directed by Eric Darnell.


This franchise has never been about art, it's all about the laughs, and this time around they're fairly successful.

Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo are still hanging out in Africa, but now is the time, they've decided, to go home to the New York Zoo. They're just waiting for the penguins to return with their plane. When they figure the penguins aren't returning from their jaunt to Monte Carlo, they decide to head there themselves. Once there, they have an animal control officer, Captain Dubois, hunt them down. Turns out Dubois likes to behead the animals she captures, and she's very very good at tracking.

This was my favorite in the series, largely because it didn't try to find any Pixarish heart to its story. It lets its hair down like a Chuck Jones cartoon and blasts forward with bright visual gags and plenty to keep adults and children interested alike. It picks up the pace and never stops to take a breath, and that's a good thing.

Some observations:

- Seems like Jessica Chastain or Bryan Cranston is in every movie of the past year, but here they both are in the same movie.

- Dubois is a hilariously tenacious, resourceful, almost Terminator-like villain.

- Wouldn't mind it if they made a part 4, now that they've shown how limitless the potential of the franchise is.

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