The occasional animated comedy is good for the soul. That is when the animation and the comedy are aimed for an adult audience. Nonetheless, with the children in mind, DreamWorks has brought a third installment featuring the world-wandering zoo animals of New York City. Ben Stiller and the gang reprise their four-legged roles to give another cheesy (yes, it’s a technical term) but childlike adventure to the world of animation. While being stranded by the ever-so-genius penguins on the continent of Africa; Alex concocts a plan to find the penguins, wherever they are, and force them to provide transport back to New York City. And thus begins the non-stop cartoon-foolery that I haven’t seen since the height of The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show. Everything from tight roping hippos, fruit filled machine guns, and a hunter that even Elmer Fudd could respect gave this film the little life it had.
Although filled with animated slap stick comedy I found Madagascar 3 to be anti-climatic. The humor was aimed specifically more for today’s child audience and left the adults babysitting for the duration of the film. Unlike the first installment of the series, Madagascar 3 felt like it was trying to overcompensate for its lack genuine humor by providing unrealistic stunts that can only be down in a cartoon. Don’t get me wrong, I know cartoons are suppose to stretch our imagination further than most films but what was provided in this film was absolute craziness of the “kilometer” high proportion.
Nevertheless, I must tip my hat to all the actors that really provided solid voice talents. Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer, and Chris Rock gave top notch performances that kept my attention for the majority of the film. And let’s not forget, Frances McDormand, who was absolutely superb as the antagonist and got me to chuckle one of the two times throughout the movie.
In truth, I really hope this is the last sequel for this series. Things were doing a downward spiral in the 2nd installment and I’m afraid of what would happen if some brave director ventured on a 4th. Sure take your children to see the film, they will get a great laugh, but you should bring a book with a light attached to it because that’s about as much entertainment as you’re going get. Yet, as always, this is my opinion and how I felt while watching the movie. Madagascar 3 might be Europe’s Most Wanted but, Europe has different standards than we do.
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