Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon Starring: (voices of) Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer Rating: Not Yet Rated Release Date: June 8, 2012
TRAILER SCORE: 4/10
Thoughts by TSR: Remember that time Pixar made an unnecessary European-set sequel and it came off like an uninspired cash grab? Yeah, I’m getting that same feeling from this. As with Cars, I have no real affection for the Madagascar films, so this just comes off as really unappealing. It wouldn’t be so bad if the movie looked good, but it doesn’t. While kids may laugh at the silly antics on display, a quick look at 2012’s crop of animated offerings proves there are plenty of more appealing options.
I hardly remember the two earlier films, but what I do recall doesn’t make me feel like I need to go out and revisit them. One thing I do remember is Sacha Baron Cohen as Julien the lemur, and he’s once again about the only amusing thing on display. Nothing he does here had me doubled over with laughter, mind you, but it at least made me chuckle. That’s more than I can say for anything else, though I do have hopes that Bryan Cranston and Frances McDormand can bring something to the table. One other aspect that gives me a small sliver of hope is that Noah Baumbach (co-writer of Fantastic Mr. Fox) wrote the screenplay. It’s not enough to make me overly optimistic, but it’s something.
Other than the big name voice cast, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted feels better suited to be a direct-to-DVD release. Between the unfunny jokes, unimpressive animation, and Chris Rock screaming into the microphone, I can decidedly say that this is not a film I’m in any hurry to see.