Film Review: Enjoyable ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’
CHICAGO – It’s incredibly rare to be able to say this – the third installment in a hit animated franchise could arguably be the best. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is certainly more fun, clever, and enjoyable than the last film in this series and probably holds its own against the original. It’s not perfect – it’s often more hyperactive than it needs to be – but the film is grounded in the arcs of its beloved characters and presents some exciting new ones, fun settings, and funny dialogue. It’s far from an animated masterpiece but it is a fun diversion for young and old.
Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) is still dreaming about getting back to New York, back to his fame as the lead attraction at the zoo. Having been left by the penguins in Africa, he checks off the days that they don’t fulfill their promise to return for him and his friends – Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith).
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Madagascar 3” in our reviews section.|
Having grown tired of waiting, the group, including Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), and Mort (Andy Richter), pack up and try to chase down the penguins in Europe. There they run afoul of a notorious animal hunter police officer named Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand), who desperately wants a lion head for her collection.
To escape the fuzz, Alex and the gang stowaway on a train filled with circus animals. The circus has a few shows across Europe and then one big one in London that’s designed to attract an American investor which would bring the group back full circle to the States. Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria could make it home again. They just have to learn a few high-wire acts. Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, and Martin Short all do excellent voice work as members of the European circus.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Photo credit: DreamWorks Pictures