Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
This movie pulls off the trick of pleasing the eyes and the belly… while almost completely bypassing the brain.
The Madagascar movies have always weak plots and not the greatest characters. And this one… doesn’t bear close examination. There are canyon sized gaps in the logic. You’ll find a lot of the regular characters don’t have much to do, or have a strong story arc.
But I’m here to argue that this is the best of the Madagascar movies.
For one, the crew has a memorable new adversary, who is one half Cruella DeVille and one half Terminator T-1000: Captain DuBois (voice of Frances McDormand). She’s introduced in a fantastic opening set piece, a chase scene that makes it clear that for the first time, our regulars face a palpable threat.
But DuBois’s obsession helps ramp up some completely unhinged humour. This film struck me as the funniest of the three. (I love those penguins.)
This one has more spectacle than the first two movies. There’s a circus set piece, set in bright fluorescent colours and that pops off the screen, thanks to some excellent 3-D work. (Though the “in your face” effects are a little overused.)
And the biggest surprise is that this one actually has got more heart. There is some great stuff here about going home that is surprisingly affecting.
And incidentally, I appreciate it tremendously that the previews did not give too much away about this movie.