This is my first post, so bear with me here! I recently won a contest from OurTiempo.com to go see Madagascar 3. The movie starts out as always, with Alex and the gang stuck and wishing to go to another place (It may it be adventurous as in the first movie or just a return to home like in the second).
Warning: the following contains spoilers!
The penguins left Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria in Africa to go to Monte Carlo to gamble and win big. The naive Alex believes that they will come back and suddenly realizes what Marty, Gloria and Melman had realized a long time ago – the penguins and monkeys are not returning. Their big idea is to go to Monte Carlo and find the penguins to make them apologize for deserting them. With hilarious scenes that even the most serious adult couldn’t help laughing to, the animals meet up with the penguins only to find them fleeing from French Captain Chantel Dubois, who happens to be a relentlessly persistent animal hunter. Cornered by the captain, the animals board a circus train in hopes of once returning back home in New York. Aboard the train, we meet the Russian tiger Vitaly (voiced amazingly by Bryan Cranston), a former circus star who was scarred forever- literally. Alex falls in love with Gia, an aspiring acrobatic, Marty meets a shy and not so bright friend seal called Stefano (brilliantly voiced by Martin Short), and Gloria and Melman become more romantically involved.
The movie was actually very captivating, with little innuendoes that only older kids and adults would understand. Sure, the movie does overplay the “afro-circus” bit we’ve all seen from the commercial, but nonetheless, it was entertaining. And what would be a Madagascar movie without “I Like To Move It!”
The movie does seem to be more of an 8+ movie, and I, as well as any parent there, was surprised when Vitaly said, “Bolshevik,” clearly thinking that other, not-so-childish word. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bring a 5-year-old to see it, but I personally believe it becomes funnier when you do understand the implications that the screenwriters included in there. Anything from “What’s New Pussycat” to The Matrix is included in this film, leaving you somehow feeling superior to the kids who don’t understand any of it. (Even though that sounds harsher and weirder than what it really is). This movie plays on all your emotions, leaving you a helpless romantic with Alex and Gia or even with Gloria and Melman. It makes you yearn to learn more about Vitaly’s past, and in fact, it leaves you upset when you finally do learn about his past. It also leaves you feeling just a little bit sad when you realize just how bright (or not) Stefano really is.
But most of all, I think it’s the subtle details that leave you in awe and laughing. The smile on Mort’s face when King Julian “dies” or the color effects of the body paints used in the circus. Sure, there are some slow parts, and I am not saying you should go miss something important to see this movie, but you should go see it if you are in need of something to do. Also, although sequels (and threequels in this case) usually tend to do worse than the first one, this one did definitely better than the second one – and might actually surpass the first – and then you start wondering just how many storylines can be made out of trying to return home.