Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) is back with friends this time determined to make it¦.back to his home of New York in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The film opens to a dream sequence with Alex picturing a dull existence where he and his friends have grown old in Africa, they decide to head for New York for all the good things they remember but first they have to swing by Monaco to pick up their friends, the mischievous penguins who have struck on the master plan of taking down a Monte Carlo casino disguised as European royalty.
After almost making off with the loot the caper hits 5th gear when chaos ensues after Alex and Marty (Chris Rock) attempt to save the tricky penguins from there nefarious ways, but make a complete mess, exposing themselves and prompting hotel security to call in Animal control, headed by the Fantastically wicked, Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand) and her bugling team of deputies. Dubois is tasked with capturing the gang and returning them to the authorities but secretly desires Alex’s head as a trophy. At this point the 3D version is well worth the extra ticket and equipment charges as the high speed chase that ensues is excellent with plenty of well designed 3D moments.
Narrowly escaping Dubois and her team the gang crash land in a rail yard, with the bad guys closing, tranquilize darts at the ready, Alex et al hop aboard a passing train and hide amongst one of Europe’s most unsuccessful animal circus’. With plan A in tatters how do they get to New York in the most entertaining way. Plan B is for the Penguins to buy the travelling circus and catch the eye of a promoter who plans a tour of the United States starting in New York.
Unfortunately the circus has long ago seen better days, with its former star Vitaly (the impossible flaming hoop jumping Tiger voiced fantastically by Bryan Cranston) now a jaded and singed shell of his former glorious self. Its time for the team to turn this circus around ˜Madagascar style’ and with a few Chris Rock over the top injections of humour they revive the Circus act set to Katie Perry electric disco; thus saving the audition and the American tour is back on track.
Although out of her jurisdiction Dubois and her bungling team are relentless and pursue the good guys to New York seeing them caged and returned to captivity. Captain Dubois while seeming grateful for the reward offered for the return of the animals is still hell bent on mounting Alex’s head on her wall. Vitally and the rest of the animals (including Gia voiced by Jessica Chastain) decide to return the favour and launch a rescue attempt, it’s a nail biter but for Alex, Marty, Melman (David Schwimmer), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the rest, but as expected there is a happy ending and some poetic justice for relentless Capitan Dubois.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted proves that refreshing a good formula with a few tweaks can work and the third instalment is on course to be the most successful yet. Visually beautiful and packed with belly laughs galore, there is plenty to keep the kids glued whilst also providing enough for the grown ups with some laughs aimed for a generation older than the target audience. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is easily one of the best animated films of the year.