Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted: "You Can Run, But You Cannot Save Your Hides"

Director: Eric Darnell
               Tom McGrath
               Conrad Vernon
Writer:    Eric Darnell
               Noah Baumbach
Starring: Ben Stiller
               Chris Rock
               David Schwimmer
               Jada Pinkett Smith
               Sacha Baron Cohen
               Cedric the Entertainer
               Andy Richter
               Bryan Cranston
               Jessica Chastain
               Martin Short
               Frances McDormand
               Vinnie Jones
Rating:    ***

Release Date: 19/10/12

Some may say that a 3rd Madagascar film wasn't really that necessary (hell, I was one of those people), but luckily for everyone involved and watching it is a superb addition. Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria (Stiller, Rock, Schwimmer & Smith) are back together, and we find them almost exactly where we left them. Stranded in Africa, abandoned by those pesky penguins and cheeky chimps, desperately trying to find a home to the New York zoo. They find out that the penguins took their plane to Monte Carlo to win big at the casinos; this can mean only one thing, the gang must swim over seas to find the sneaky birds and catch the next flight home.

(L-R) Jessica Chastain, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller,
Jada Pinkett Smith & David Schwimmer
Of course that would be far to easy for our friendly zoo animals, and after a plan goes wrong, causing a mighty kerfuffle, the gang are soon pursued by the maniacal French animal control officer, Captain Chantel DuBois (McDormand), and her crew of heavy henchman. DuBois finds herself fixated with catching Alex the lion, because the head of an animal as rare and important as he will make her world famous. The misfit crew are in desperate times, which of course means desperate measures; so they find refuge in the most unusual of places...a circus train.

A new environment means a new group of nutty characters; these include Vitaly the tiger (Cranston), Gia the jaguar (Chastain) and Stefano the sea lion (Short), plus many other voiceless - yet highly entertaining - animals to keep the kids happy. In a very lucky turn of events, the circus is headed to London where an American talent agent is waiting to possibly offer the circus a contract in New York City: see where it's going. However, the question is will they get home in one piece, or will everything go wrong long before they arrive?

Bryan Cranston
I only saw the film in 2D, but I will say that the filmmakers had plenty of opportunities to use the 3D technology well, as long as it adds to the film, and doesn't distract from it. One scene in particular, when the circus performs there act for a sold out crowd, would be perfect for the 3D especially. Set against a plain black backdrop and the characters covered in bright neon lights, it was exciting and spectacular to watch in 2D, and I imagine would have been even more so in 3D.

Madagascar 3 is action packed to say the least, literally there is always something happening up on the screen; no doubt to keep the younger audience members engaged throughout. Just as the films action calms down, the energy is brought right back up thanks to another joke, gag, pratfall or adrenaline filled set piece. All of this together means that the film flies by in what feels like minutes, and I'm sure that this will work perfectly for children that go to watch.

Frances McDormand
I was a little concerned when I heard that there were 3 directors on board, because, as the old saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. Luckily for the filmmakers and studio, it payed off and worked really well for that matter. The writing is also a big factor in the movies success, because each line is witty, heartfelt and written for the children and adults alike. OK it is a bit full on (especially the villainous DuBois), but it's aim is to entertain, and that it does brilliantly.

The plot is basically the same as the first two films and isn't as groundbreaking as it could've been, but at the end of the day, children will lap it up and it is thoroughly enjoyable. It will make you laugh, cry, and at times have you sat on the edge of your seat, and sometimes that is all you need to keep you entertained when you go to the cinema.

 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Trailer