Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
- Released: Thursday, 13 September 2012
- Runtime: 93 mins.
- Distributor: Paramount.
Voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Frances McDormand. Directed by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon. 93 minutes Rated g (General audience).
It’s seven years already since Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria left their New York Zoo home and were transported to Africa. In the sequel, they were still having African adventures. This time, they decide to leave Africa and make for home, setting out first for Monte Carlo where the villainous and scheming penguins have flown their plane with no intention of coming back to rescue the stranded group. The familiar voices are back: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith along with Sacha Baron Cohen as the mischievous King Julien.
The writers must have more than a soft spot for Europe. We spend a lot of time in Monte Carlo, not only at the Casino, which they leave the worse for wear, but the whole city as they flee, penguins and monkeys along with them, from the relentless and ruthless pursuer of animals, Mademoiselle Dubois voiced by Frances McDormand with determined relish. After the mayhem in Monaco, they arrive in Rome, having bought a run-down circus so that they could escape in their train. Disaster – though the film spends some pleasing time in Rome for those who have visited the city. The marquee is set up in the Colisseum (which the pragmatic penguins decide ought to be torn down for something new and efficient). Julien visits the Vatican and kisses the Pope’s hand – and swallows the papal ring which he tries to pawn.
What are stranded animals to do? They decide that the show must go on, so they spend time in the Alps inventing new acts, getting a Russian tiger who has lost his mojo, Vitaly (Bryan Cranston), to rediscover his courage, helping out the maestro sea-lion, Stefano (Martin Short), Alex falling for Gia (Jessica Chastain). This is mainly where there are some funny parts, especially Marty being shot out of a canon and fulfilling his dream of flying. There is quite some amusing use of music and songs from Pomp and Circumstance, Non je ne regretted rien (from Mlle Dubois) and Born Free.
It’s on to London where they want to impress an impresario who could take them back to New York and home at the Zoo. It won’t spoil things to say they do get back to NYC, but they realise they have discovered life in the world and their cages are too confining for them. Scarcely have they had time to realise this than there is Mlle Dubois in a final face to face confrontation.
It’s all rather bright and breezy, which is how it should be.