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Reel Reviews: You don’t need to fly to have fun

Secret agents aren’t born, they’re hatched in Penguins of Madagascar.

  • Dec. 5, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Secret agents aren’t born, they’re hatched.

When Dave (voiced by John Malkovich), a mad scientist octopus, develops a ray gun that turns adorable penguins into uncontrollable monsters, it’s up to the Penguins of Madagascar, Skipper, Private, Rico and Kowalski, to save all of penguin-kind.

We say, “It’s funnier than Horrible Bosses 2.

TAYLOR: Well, I thought so anyway. Penguins of Madagascar made me laugh out loud, which is a pretty rare occurrence, at least at the movies.

In fact, it made me laugh in the first five seconds, when a Werner Herzog sound-alike started narrating. It’s not so much that the film is hilarious, but it’s pleasant and zips along very quickly. There are many, many jokes that are flying over the kids’ heads, but they didn’t seem to mind and it’s certainly not the case that the jokes we’re inappropriate, just adult oriented.

HOWE: I don’t know if it flew over all the kids’ heads. When I was there, there were lots of kids laughing. Let’s see what a younger member of the audience thought:

FENIN: I found it really funny. The octopus reminds me of my grandad in England because he also doesn’t know how to use Skype. My favourite penguin is Skipper.

HOWE: But I will agree, Penguins of Madagascar does seem a lot more adult themed. I did laugh and was entertained, which means it has done its job. My complaint is that in the main Madagascar films, the penguins were bit part players, along with King Julien, and when they entered the films it was only for a few minutes. When they were on the screen they stole the spotlight. Now give them their own movie for an hour and a half and to me it was just a little to over-bearing, a little over the top.

TAYLOR: Consider taking kids of all ages to see this film. This elite squad of penguins is worth the price of admission.

– Fenin gives Penguins of Madagascar 5 King Juliens out of 5.

– Howe gives it 3 bobbing headed dolls out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3 name puns out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.