Saturday, October 20, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – 4 out of 5

In the first one, they were accidentally shipped to Madagascar.  In the second, they ended up in Africa and now it seems the lion, the zebra, the giraffe and the hippo (and the penguins) are on the verge of finally returning to New York and getting home.

Who doesn't love penguins?  People who hate awesome things, that's who.

If only all circuses were like this...
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted sees Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pnkett Smith) head to Monaco to catch up with the penguins who abandoned them in Africa.  However, after an incident in a casino, the crew sees themselves hunted by Europe’s most deadly animal control officer; Captain Chantel DuBois (voiced by Frances McDormand), who wants Alex’s head on her wall. In an effort to get away, the crew find themselves in a failing circus and their only hope of returning home is getting the circus up and running in order to impress an American talent scout so they can tour the States.

This man is the American talent scout...and I'm pretty sure George C. Scott was the
inspiration for the character design.

I've been there...
I really enjoy the other two Madagascar films.  Their humor is witty and not just characters falling down to make children laugh.  Along with some great animation, the movies were something the whole family could sit down and enjoy and not just something you put on to shut your kid up for an hour and a half so you and your spouse could cry in one room and drink in the other or try to work in a quickie in the bedroom (I don’t know the state of your marriage but I’m sure one or the other applies…maybe both, if you’re freaky).  And when I saw this in the trailer, I knew I had to see it.

Error 404:  Witty caption not found.
Once the film started, I found myself criticizing the animation style as it looked like it hadn’t improved since the first one came out in 2005.  Take, for example, the Toy Story series…when you compare the first one to the third one, the animation looks beyond infinity (eh, like that?).  However, I had to shut my mouth very rapidly because once the film got rolling, you see the animation is absolutely incredible while keeping the characters’ looks true to the first film…much like Pixar did with Toy Story 3.

Even though I watched this in missionary position 2-D, the movie looks like
the 3-D could have been good.

I get that excited when I see a Taco Bell.
Like the previous film, Madagascar 3 is funny—laugh out loud funny.  Literally laughing out loud, not the “LOL” things people text you when they have nothing else to say. Also, like the previous films, the voice acting is top shelf stuff!  The usual crew is here like Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien, Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice and Andy Richter as Mort but, because this is a sequel and you need new faces (or voices, in this case), new characters are added.  Martin Short voices a simple-minded sea lion for the circus whose hopeful nature is mirrored only by his own naivety, Jessica Chastain voices a young and hungry cheetah that becomes a love interest for Alex and Bryan Cranston stars as a vicious tiger with a horrible past.  Cranston deserves special praise because the character he plays (Vitaly the tiger) is Russian and the accent was so convincing, I never realized it was Heisenberg himself doing the voice.

Vitaly just found out he has cancer and is going to cook meth to pay for the treatments.

Maybe it's my crippling loneliness but, dammit, I found her HOT!!!
Sure, in the end, I’m going to be singing the “Circus Afro” song for a week now but Madagascar 3 is good enough where having that earworm in your head isn’t a bad thing.  The animation is killer, the story is a strong addition to the franchise, the film has a great villain in the form of DuBois (who, I strangely found attractive) and it is just plain viciously funny!  Madagascar 3 is so good, it can easily be argued that it was the best film in the franchise.

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