Finally! A post by Devin!

 
Madagascar 3 Review: 1.5 stars (out of 5)

Where to start…

One of the more profound things I’ve learned in four months of marriage is that my wife Emily and I can sometimes have starkly different opinions about entertainment. This was evidenced the other night when we tried to watch Arrested Development together. I’ve seen all three seasons four times, so I’m a bit of a fan, and I spent most of the 40 minutes watching Em’s face to see if she was laughing… Not so much…

All that to say, we both loved the first two Madagascar movies and are in total agreement that King Julian and the gang are some of the best animated characters ever. What’s not to like? The first Madagascar (2005) has Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo all escaping from the New York Central Zoo and winding up in the jungle (Madagascar, in case you can’t keep up). It’s great because their relationships feel genuine and there is just the right amount of escalating conflict as the gang discovers what life in the wild is really about. Then there’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), which is 89 minutes of hilarity when the animals crash land in Africa and Alex the lion ends up finding his parents. The sequel packs the jokes in so tight—and contains such fast-moving, witty dialogue—that you can really watch this kid’s movie multiple times and still pick up on plenty of entertaining things you missed before.

… But maybe the increasingly fast pace of the sequel (and the mostly-successful attempts of the writers to jam in humor from all angles) should have tipped us off that the third movie in the franchise might try to do too much. Cause that’s what happened.

There we are on a Thursday night, enjoying an unusual weeknight evening out, and assuming that we’ve made a safe choice in seeing Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted… And now I’m going to skip the part of the review where I do a thorough breakdown and just say that it was stupid. The main reasons why? It was outlandish and bizarre, and not in a good way—even for a movie like Madagascar that can be known to be over-the-top.

See, in the first two installments, even though the animals would make crazy facial expressions and avoid getting hurt while doing wildly dangerous things, it still somehow felt rooted in reality. That might sound crazy since we’re dealing with talking animals here, but see all three movies and you’ll know what I mean. There is no semblance of realism in Europe’s Most Wanted, and the movie is worse for it. Right from the beginning we knew something was off when it turned out that those rascally penguins had developed space-age technology and could fly from continent to continent like something from Star Trek. Don’t worry, though, Alex and the gang didn’t get left behind, they just used snorkels to swim from Africa to Monaco, because that’s… reasonable.


Seriously, I’m usually not one to nitpick about a movie’s plot or it’s characters’ flaws. Go with it, I always think, because you’re watching a movie and there’s going to be some coincidences that occur, or poor choices made by the characters. That’s how conflict starts and if you’re not willing to suspend some disbelief then you’re probably going to miss out on some stories that could really sweep you away in the long run. But Madagascar 3, UGH… After Em and I were already annoyed with the villainous animal control woman from France who could run through walls and jump a motorcycle from skyscraper to skyscraper without a ramp or anything, the last thing this movie needed was circus stuff. But then there we are, watching the animals do trapeze stunts and use jet-powered roller skates amidst a technicolor light show—and all of it without ANY REHEARSAL.


I could go on about all the phony relationships and King Julian’s creepy romance with the sloppy bear, but this has been enough… Stay tuned for our review of Brave. If Pixar makes as big of a misstep as Dreamworks did with Madagascar 3, we’re in serious trouble.

At least our night out was redeemed by Yo Yo’s frozen yogurt. I think Em took a picture of how our individual dishes turned out. Here you see a good example of how widely our tastes can vary. In the past, Madagascar could bring us together despite these kinds of difference—last night it failed to do so. Maybe next time. 

Written by: Devin B. W.
 
And to prove the night wasn't a total bust...
I was quite happy to have some movie popcorn for the first time in several years!
Dev turns the other cheek to spare viewers of his swollen jaw (hit by hockey puck).
I'll let you surmise which one belongs to whom. :)

10 comments:

Betsy said...

SO FUN THAT DEV TOOK THE BYD PLUNGE! I actually can't tell whose is whose with the YoYos...I would definitely go for the chocolate caramel one but I'm guessing Em you're taking the lighter route?

Sarah said...

How fun to have a guest post from Devin! Thanks for the movie review - we probably won't be seeing that one!

Can't wait to hear your opinion on Brave!

smw said...

Fun to hear from devin. :). The chocolate/caramel looks just like me. The fruity concoction looks just like Jaret. Do tell which is which!!

leah said...

oh man! i love it! devin--welcome! :)

thanks for the review--i'm sad it was such a bummer of a movie, but good to have the heads up!

we're excited for Brave as well!!

leah said...

and three cheers for yoyo's! :)

Molly said...

Love the review. I'd really like to hear more of these from you, Dev. Maybe books? I'm looking for some good summer reading...

Agree on the yoyos comments!

Christen Leigh said...

Ha! I love this review! I'm guessing....fruit yogurt concoction--Em, chocolatey goodness--Devin. :)

Daveana said...

I was kind of expecting M3 to be a flop. Still a bummer though. I'm really looking forward to Brave. Can't wait to see what you think of it.

Also looking forward to more posts by you Devin. Love your writing!

emilykate said...

Christen's got it! The massive heap of chocolate was Dev's and the fruit was mine (I go back and forth between fruity and chocolatey)

Sara Huber said...

Thanks for saving me $30 some long summer day when I am trying to come up with something for the boys and I to do! We made that mistake over Christmas Break with the most recent Chipmunks movie...it was terrible!