Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Blu-ray Review

'if you struggle with Sacha Baron Cohen as much as I do then rest assured that he is still at his funniest when pretending to be a lemur and present only in voice form'

If evidence were needed of just how lazy Madagascar 3 can be at times, then look no further than the opening moments. Supposedly stranded in Africa, after the events of the second film, our lead quartet of animal miscreants decide to travel to Monaco to chase down the penguins who have the plane that can take them home. A quick cut later and whoosh, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria are transported to Europe, apparently by way of a gentle 500-mile or so swim. Kids won't care about the logic of this, and parents probably won't either, but for evidence of the amount of thought that's gone in to Madagascar 3, a jury might as well convict it of gross intellect negligence there and then.

Of course, if they did that, this franchise wouldn't be able to make as much money as it has, nor be as hilarious as this outing can occasionally be. The penguins and the two monkeys (do we really need names here?) are still funny highlights with wit and acerbity by the bucket load and if you struggle with Sacha Baron Cohen as much as I do then rest assured that he is still at his funniest when pretending to be a lemur and present only in voice form.

Like a plethora of 3D films of recent times (notably Hugo), there's a distinct tension, almost embarrasment, here about the fact that a new craft is pushing out an old one. Madagascar of course, as a CG animation, is doubly so and it is notable that it either feels the need, or has the guilt, to follow a narrative concerned with the preservation of a dying art form. In their own take on this Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath's film decides to champion the circus, saving it by way of traditional acts given new, day-glo, routines and a song as annoyingly simple as it ridiculously catchy. Katie Perry's Firework, used in the closing show montage, falls into the same bracket.

Though it shines in these moments, there is so much that is formulaic in Madagascar 3 that it is hard to conclude it is anything but average. A multitude of shots are clearly composed solely for the 3D, rendering them pointless and distracting on 2D home theatre. The script gets even more clich├ęd and spectacularly less witty when it feels the need to make certain you know a lead duo are in love, a story that was hardly needed in the first place. Following that, the standard third act conflict of any film featuring any sort of Romance shows up in the most tired and obligatory way imaginable, a bit like the near-compulsory animal-themed review conclusion, which must point out that I would be lion if I declared Madagascar 3, king of the jungle.





By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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