Have you ever had a song or jingle stuck in your head for a long time? That’s what happened to me when I first heard the now infamous Afro Circus line on television. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted delivers the fun and excitement for the whole family this weekend! The third chapter in the Madagascar takes the Central Zoo Fab Four on a new journey they will never forget.
Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa wanting to make the journey back home to good ol’ New York City. Meanwhile, the intrepid penguin pals and the two chimps take their beat-up plane to a casino in Monte Carlo and clean house. Tired of waiting, the Zoo Fab Four decides to snorkel their way to the Riviera. While the “King of Versailles” (the two chimps masquerading as Louis XIV) is breaking the bank, the ZFF drops in to get them out of there.
The animals are discovered by the ruthless Captaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) who despises the very thought of zoo animals roaming around her city. DuBois launches an all-out pursuit in Monte Carlo to capture them all. She is also excited that she is able to hunt her very first lion. The quartet manages to escape with thanks to the mighty penguins and the chimps. With DuBois on their tail, the Zoo Fab Four does the obvious thing when animals are on the run – join the traveling circus. The failed traveling circus heading to Rome in hopes to go global includes Vitaly (Bryan Cranston), a grouchy Siberian tiger who has lost his passion, Stefano (Martin Short) an eager-to-please sea lion whose manners echo Goofy’s and Gia (Jessica Chastain), a sleek sassy jaguar who wants more in life. The team sees an opportunity to give the down-and-out circus a Circus Americano upgrade in hopes that this circus can take the Zoo Fab Four back home.
Directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath and joined here by Conrad Vernon, this third movie goes from zero to full throttle in a matter of scenes. Darnell and co-writer Noah Baumbach provided the tale with some clever zingers that will keep you laughing while redefining where home is. I admire how the film teaches some life lessons as the Zoo Fab Four and the veteran circus performers’ breakout of the safe zones in order to work together and become the dynamic multi-ring circus it’s destined to be.
I applaud the filmmakers for bringing in a new villain that has the stamina of Captain Ahab and the dirty tricks and looks of Cruella DeVil. She has that look in the eye that will make you run and hide while she’s out on the hunt. For Chantel does not want to just capture our beloved friends, she wants them wiped off the face of the earth. Her trophy is simple, Alex’s head hanging in our office. You have to tip your beret to McDormand for an excellent performance. Her rendition of Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” is pitch perfect.
For the first time this year, I can honestly say that the 3-D will excite you. When the team re-invents the circus, the circus acts come alive in whole new way. From Vitaly’s ring trick to Gia & Alex’s trapeze act, the 3-D element is well-served by presenting the most surreal laser light show under the grandest Big Top ever! Get out your passport ready – for this weekend! The Zoo Fab Four will take on the most dazzling, colorful, grandest European excursion that you’ll never forget. Just one thing: First, Keep the penguins and chimps away from luxury casinos.
FINAL GRADE: A