Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

2012

Action / Adventure / Animation / Comedy / Family

312
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 79%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 73%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 138471

Synopsis


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 6 / 10

Packed with problems, but whizzes by far too fast to care

A distinct lack of charm and originality have never been criticisms to inspire a studio to scrap a billion dollar franchise in favour of doing something a little more worthwhile, so Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) return four years after their detour to Africa for another continent-spanning adventure, this time in Europe. This third entry into the hugely successful franchise packs so much colour, noise and incident into its 90 minute running time that the issues with the first two films - which are still present here - are reduced to a mere afterthought. To my utter surprise, Europe's Most Wanted is actually quite fun.

Bored with Africa and longing for their home in New York, the anthropomorphic foursome take sail to Monte Carlo, where the penguins and primates have already made themselves at home. An incident in a casino leads to a vicious, game-hunting animal control worker named Chantal DuBois (Frances McDormand) chasing them across the city. As the authorities close in, the group make a break for it by hopping on a circus train, where they are met with resistance by a bitter, once-famous performer Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston), but welcomed by the doe-eyed jaguar Gia (Jessica Chastain) and the optimistic sea lion Stefano (Martin Short). With the circus lacking inspiration with a tired act, Alex and co. come up with a plan to reinvigorate the show as they tour Europe, in the hope of making enough money to get them home.

Making up for the blocky, uninspired animation of the previous movies, Madagascar 3 is a feast for the eyes, really coming to life during the physics-defying, laser-filled circus shows. The script is slightly more sophisticated, which is possibly due to the involvement of Noah Baumbach, yet the characters still need to compensate for the lack of actual jokes by shouting nonsense or falling over. As for the newcomers, they are infinitely more engaging than the stock long- lost family members from part 2, with Cranston clearly revelling in the chance to do a ridiculous Russian accent, and Chastain purring it up as the love interest. However, the biggest impression is left by a character who doesn't speak at all; a giant female bear (the growls are performed by Frank Welker) who forms a weird romantic relationship with King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) in the movie's most endearing transgressive move. The narrative is packed with problems, but the whole thing whizzes by far too fast to care.

Reviewed by david-sarkies 5 / 10

Time to go Home

Well, it seems as if they couldn't leave the movie with our four heroes happy back in the plains of Africa because, well, they are starting to get homesick. Actually, the Penguins and the Monkeys had already headed home, via Monte Carlo to do a bit of gambling with all of the gold and jewels that they dug up in the previous adventure, and our heroes are starting to scratch their heads, wondering when they are going to get back again. Well, as it turns out the Penguins have completely forgotten about them so our heroes decide to head off the Europe. There is only one problem – after causing a raucous at the casino they catch the attention of Dubois, a dangerous animal hunter who wants a lion's head on her wall, so they do what any self respecting animal does, and join the circus.

This film seems to move away from what the original two were exploring, namely the animals returning to their natural habitat. Okay, the animals don't actually live in Madagascar, but that was because they fell overboard and landed up there. However, we now return to civilisation (for want of a better word, though maybe I should say 'industrialised world') and have to learn how to perform in a circus. Okay, there is the problem that carnies (that is circus performers) tend to stick together and not particularly like strangers, but the Monkeys, taking on the disguise of the King of Versaille (which I have to admit is a pretty awesome disguise), buy the circus as a way to get onto the train.

The problem is that the circus is, well, run down, particularly since one of the star performers ended up failing in one of his acts and now spends his time moping in the corner. In the end, as can be expected from a Hollywood movie, everything turns out for the best, though the whole adage of there being no place like home is a bit of a misnomer because, as our heroes discover, once you leave home then all of a sudden home is no longer what you could consider home. In fact once you leave home then in reality you can never actually go back home again.

I have to admit that I didn't like this film as much as the second one in the franchise, but maybe because the whole joining the circus pretty much introduced a whole heap of new characters that I found quite difficult to start relating too. It wasn't as if they were bad, or annoying, it was just that they were new and, okay, somewhat annoying. I guess the whole circus thing sort of annoyed me as well. Okay, it did have a plot, and it did end reasonably well, though I guess the other thing was that Dubois also started to get under my skin by the end of the film. Sure, it is called Europe's Most Wanted, and by the end having Dubois in the film was necessary, but I still didn't particularly like her. The film was okay, but nowhere near as good as the second in the series.

Reviewed by Filipe Neto 4 / 10

A reasonable movie with a bad script.

This is the third "Madagascar" film, a sequel to the sequel, continuing the story of the four animals of the New York Zoo that went to Africa in the first two films. In this one, in an unbelievable way, they end up going to Europe where they get into trouble with Monaco's animal control before entering a travelling circus. One of the most interesting things about animated cinema is the great creative freedom it allows. However, there are plausible limits that should not be exceeded, otherwise the film will be totally absurd. "Madagascar 3" goes far beyond them. I recognize that it has a lot of funny moments but the script is absolutely predictable, annoying and implausible. The villain never seemed good, being a heap of clichés and francophone prejudices of remarkable bad taste. The four central characters also lose interest, especially Marty (the zebra) and Gloria (the hippo), seconded by the protagonism given to the new participants. On a technical level, it is impeccable: the animations are excellent, the voice actors (still appreciably inherited from the two previous films) do a great job and the film is visually beautiful. It has a positive thing: it goes back to the music and the songs, much despised in the previous film, but they are rather weak, the one that I liked the most was a comic imitation of "Je ne regrette rien", Edith Piaf's original.

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