The third film in the Madagascar franchise
The third film in the
Madagascar franchise follows the capers of Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and hippo Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) as they trek across
Europe as part of a travelling circus while trying to escape the grasp of a
demonic animal control officer Captain Chantel DuBois (Francis McDormand) and try and find their way home.
On their new voyage they befriend
a cluster of European stereotypes, notably a sinister Russian lion (voiced by
Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston), a
sultry tigress (Jessica Chastain)
and a highly emotional Italian seal (Martin
Short), and trick them into believing they are determined to join and
improve their failing circus when in fact they’re being used as a ticket back
to New York.
There is something irrationally
fun about the latest sequel to a film that lacked the charm of DreamWorks’
other big franchise Shrek but, with
its mass infant appeal, has managed to earn another two chapters. There’s
little here to entice older audience members, bar a handful of film references,
but visually the third Madagascar makes excellent use of its 3D release with
some stunning sequences, namely the circus’s neon-themed opening night which
holds the best use of a Katy Perry
song on the big screen to date.
Given the vocal talent on board
it’s a pity that more isn’t achieved with the additional characters. Chastain
is sweet as Alex’s love interest and McDormand’s limited dialogue is fitting
but the lack of a proper narrative means that they’re mostly there to put a few
new faces amongst the usual clique.
On the surface the film is
infectious silliness. Rock’s Marty singing about an afro circus should be more
irritating and Melman’s wide-eyed gangly composure should be worn out by its
third outing, but for a convenient trip to the cinema, especially with small
ones in tow, this proves quite an entertaining experience.