After the enjoyable Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, it is truly tragic to see the turn of events that takes place in its flimsy sequel Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The movie relies on low character development, insignificant action and bland jokes.
The action begins directly where the 2008 sequel has left off. Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus are struck with homesickness in the African wilderness. They romp through the casinos of Monte Carlo searching for the penguins so that they could all return to their Central Park zoo life. Unfortunately they soon have an animal control cop Chantel Dubois hot on their trail.
Faced with the crisis of not being able to fly to New York the animals stumble upon a circus that is on a tour across the world and realize that one of their stops is at their hometown.
The biggest let down of the movie is that all the characters seem to look alike. They all possess comical, eager-to-please-wide-eyed-looks. Even new additions like Stefano the sea lion and Gia the jaguar do not possess any unique characteristics. Directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon should have taken note of this fact and etched different traits and features to the animations. Dubois’ character especially seems rather silly and is presented with the hope of bringing comedy rather that weaving a decent storyline.
The story too goes off the rails and plunges into an abyss. It is difficult to convince the viewers on why Alex and the gang need to run away with a circus just because they believe that it is a safe way in getting home. It is all too predictable and lacks the excitement of suspense. From the moment that the quartet had met their new circus buddies, the viewers are able to guess the ending.
Failing in this too the directors seem to have made a desperate attempt to bring some interest by using flamboyant colours, fireworks and an overdose of performing animals.
Probably the only interesting point is found at the heart of the tale in the form of the circus’ main attraction, Vitaly the Siberian tiger that jumps through small rings of fire after lubing up with olive oil. It relates that after facing failure in a certain point he had lost the nerve to perform the act. Alex convinces Vitaly that all is not lost and you can do the impossible if you have the passion for it.
Even though Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted features a star-studded voice cast, this does not prevent the fate of the movie. It suffers horribly in comparison to the recently released ‘Ice Age 4’ in all aspects.
If this is where the Madagascar sequels are heading then another sequel is not the most vied after aspect at the moment. The producers need to consider if they have any originality in the plot before investing money on yet another sequel.
Daily News By Ruwini JAYAWARDANA