Sunday, November 9, 2008

Movie Review: Madagascar:Escape to Africa

Every so often there is a movie preview that has you laughing, has you thinking, "This is going to be a great movie that I will love!" Then the movie comes along, you watch it, and head home for a long bath as you try to clean off the stench of the disappointment. Meet Madagascar (2005), a movie that had tremendous vocal talent, a good premise, great trailers, and a horrible script. It was lacking laughs and, while on a later viewing may not cause me to want to gouge out my eyeballs for merely having seen it, was at first blush a huge, Shrek the Third-like disappointment, though it did precede the latter title which shall not be named again here.

The previews for Madagascar:Escape to Africa (2008) were merely okay. Maybe my standards of expectations were lowered by having seen the first train wreck, but be that as it may, this was a movie I wanted to see. 

The best elements from the first movie were not only retained, they were turned into the focal point. We got to see much more of the Penguin commando team, the debonair-yet-repulsive monkeys, Melman's (David Schwimmer) compulsiveness, the interplay between Marty (Chris Rock) and Alex (Ben Stiller) with the fun-loving nature of Marty in full effect full effect full effect full effect...see the movie, that joke actually makes sense. 

Even Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) gets an expanded role, and it is much funnier than his first, though I do not know there is another "I like to Move it move it" song in this one to catch people's attention.

This movie has some killer visuals, with great animation, tight dialogue, a good story that will keep you interested and entertained. There are some great cameos from the first movie you might not expect and ultimately the simple yet heart-warming story comes to a nice conclusion. This is definitely a sequel that blows away the original from an entertainment standpoint.

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