Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Film Review: "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (2012)

"Six years ago, they disappeared without a trace. Next summer, they finally resurface." Which is what is going down in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. This 3D computer-animated comedy film, produced by DreamWorks Animation. It is the third installment of the series, following Madagascar (2005) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). The film is directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon. Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria are still struggling to get home to New York. This time, their journey takes them to Europe where they are relentlessly pursued by the fanatical Monaco Animal Control officer Captain Chantel DuBois. As a means of getting passage to North America, the zoo animals purchase a failing traveling circus as they become close friends with the staff like Vitaly, Gia, and Stefano. Together, they spectacularly revitalize the business and along the way find themselves reconsidering where their true home really is.

The performances in the films were all more humorous than the first two films and interesting. Stiller, Rock, Schwimmer, Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer all out-done themselves for this third, and possibly (and hopefully) last film. The film introduced a cast of new characters that were just as funny and interesting as the original cast. Bryan Cranston played the strong and 'tuff' Russian Tiger Vitaly and Jessica Chastain played the lovely and naive jaguar Gia. I was amazed that these major stars played these wonderfully colorful characters, I never imagined that it was them playing the roles. And that is what I loved about these performances, I loved how Frances McDormand played the sinister and yet interesting villain in the film Monaco Animal Control officer Captain Chantel DuBois. The sign of a great performance, as I always say, is when the actor is able to master and seemlessly blend into the performance and deliver a great performance, and can not be recognized by the audience. So at the end I must praise their performances as well as Martin Short, as the dumb-founded but lovable Stefano, for being humorous as always from his earliest films that I could remember.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a vast improvement on the series and to its predecessors, with more lovable and fleshed-out characters, dazzling animation and more outrageous humor. It goes easy on the pop culture jokes, I should clarify: one of the smarter things in the script is how the animals' jazzy circus performance, done in black-light colors and set to a Katy Perry song — may be one of the trippiest scenes in a mainstream kiddie movie since Dumbo saw those pink elephants. To conclude, this is a brighter, more engaging film than the original Madagascar. Take the flat tire that was Madagascar. Retread it with the Dumbo storyline. Pump it up with air. Now you have this film! It is the sequel to the enormously successful DreamWorks adventure and a film that hews close to the whole Dumbo/species-as-destiny/self-fulfillment paradigm.

Simon says Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted receives:

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