Review: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted


Director:Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon

Cast:Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Running Time:85 Minutes


The first two Madagascar
films were occasionally chuckle inducing but ultimately forgettable.  It's surprising then that Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is
the best of the series, taking the finest aspects of the previous films and
turning everything up to full throttle. 
The action is bigger and the humor more absurd thanks to a fast-paced
script from Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach.

The story is slightly more complicated this time out with
Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria
(Jada Pinkett Smith) trying to once again escape from a remote location in
Africa.  Through magical cartoon
logic, the gang finds themselves in Monte Carlo where the penguins and monkeys
cause a ruckus, and suddenly they are on the run from a sadistic animal control
specialist throughout Europe. In one of the more spectacular action sequences
in the film, there's a ridiculous high-speed pursuit between the animals
driving an enhanced SUV and the animal control agents on scooters.  It's the perfect blend of ludicrous and
thrilling to keep the audience entertained even though none of it makes a lick
of sense.

The escape leads to everyone joining a traveling circus with
a whole host of new characters. 
Together they all must save the fledging circus and get back to New York
in one piece, culminating in some great side stories and
a big, colorful circus sequence that will have the kids singing and dancing in
their seats. The biggest laughs still come from the side characters, and as
such they have substantially increased screen time and presence in the
story.  There's a particularly
hilarious interspecies relationship involving King Julian that delivers
consistently throughout the entire film.

Madagascar 3
succeeds where the previous films failed. It's consistent, beautifully animated
and, most importantly, actually funny. The jokes come in rapid-fire succession,
and it's almost never boring. Despite not caring about the main characters, I
still had fun and the kids will, too.


About Tyler Mager


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