The Penguins

The Penguins

Reel Reviews: Cute and cuddly, at least for some

Taylor and Howe say: "Kids will enjoy Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted; parents not so much."

  • Jun. 15, 2012 6:00 a.m.

After spending the last few years in the wilderness: Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman (voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer, respectively) have decided it’s time to go home to the Big Apple.

They would already be on their way, if it wasn’t for those pesky penguins making off with their only mode of transport.

After tracking the penguins down to Monte Carlo and getting chased by Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) of Animal Control, they end up with a traveling circus, making their way through Europe.

Will they make it home? Will Alex end up on DuBois’s wall of fame? Will they run away with the circus?

We say, “Kids will enjoy it, parents, not so much.”

HOWE: First things first, this is the third installment for the franchise and it’s starting to feel a little old and the script is stretched thin. The good news, kids will still love it and it does have one or two funny moments.

TAYLOR: I haven’t seen either of the first two of these, so I came in knowing nothing. It seemed like a fine movie, a little cheeky, sort of typical for these types of things –– a few timely pop references, plenty of slapstick. There were some more adult references, none of them particularly funny.

HOWE: King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) is still a blast. Every time he is in a scene, he steals it. He is my all- time favourite cartoon character, and I’ve seen a lot of cartoon characters in the past 40 years. It feels that they gave him a little more free reign with the script this time. I found the love interest for King Julien very amusing.

TAYLOR: Cohen’s the type of guy who runs with things, but there’s lots of talent involved, many guest voices: two Oscar nominees, two Oscar winners… and Andy Richter. However, for me the real star of this film was the 3D; best use of 3D this year. Despite the action petering out at the three quarter mark, there was still a lot of it, chases especially. The animation also was interesting, although somewhat cheap looking, at times backgrounds reminded me of Google Earth, it was well directed. They animated it to look like an action film.

HOWE: When I showed my little boy the trailer to Madagascar 3 at the beginning of the year, he couldn’t wait to see it. So when I told him on Sunday we were going to see it that afternoon, he was very excited. And by the sounds of his laughter, he really enjoyed it. He kept slapping my arm and saying, “Daddy, did you see dat?”

TAYLOR: I think you hit the nail on the head. Robot voice: <Acceptable to target audience.>

HOWE: In the end, it’s a kid’s movie. Will they enjoy it? Yes. Will parents enjoy it? Maybe. Or you could just have a nap.

–– Taylor gives Madagascar 3 2.5 Ds out of 5.

–– Howe gives it 2.5 polka dot zebras out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are both movie critics living in the Okanagan.