Sunday, July 10, 2005
Dir. Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
See the majestic lion Alex – surely he is a sight to behold. Watch in wonder at how the king of beasts stalks his prey, marvel at how he erm, seems to like his steaks served to him on a platter and at how he’s now having a laugh with what I thought was his prey but it fact turns out to be his best mate – a Zebra named Marty… Things aren’t running according to their natural order here - these animals obviously weren't born in the wild... But they are about to get shipped there!
Madagascar is the latest CGI animation funfest from Dreamworks (home of both Shrek and Shark Tale) and whilst it might be absolute lightweight nonsense – it delivers a fun couple of hours for kids and adults alike. Ben Stiller has a lot of fun playing Alex the lion, he’s the main attraction at New York City Zoo, his every need is catered for and he’s lost his killer instinct. His best friend Marty (Chris Rock) however is hankering to know what it would be like to live in the wild and gets chance to find out thanks to a mad cap botched escape attempt involving some scene stealing psychotic penguins. So Marty, Alex and their friends Melman the neurotic Giraffe (David Schwimmer) plus Gloria the sassy Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) are marooned on the mental lemur infested island Madagascar. And there is lots of fun to be had watching the jokes, pratfalls and obligatory film references – look out for the excellent Chariots of Fire reunion and the American Beauty ‘steak’ dream. Also on hand is British comic Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G) who’s insanely over the top ‘king of the lemurs’ is a great counter foil to the NYC animals. Watching them discover the meaning of what it means to be ‘carnivore’ or as Marty asks Alex at one point: “Why are you biting my butt?” is great ‘food for thought’…
OK, the animation isn’t going to win any awards and it’s a shame but at no point does Madagascar reach the glorious humorous heights of the Shrek series but surely only a truly bitter, wretched person could possibly not enjoy the antics of these overly domesticated “wild” animals…
Remember – it’s a jungle out there – and it’s waiting for you at your local cinema.
Darkmatt Rating: ööö (all age 'wild' fun)
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Posted by Matt Adcock at 10:50 pm