Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) Poster

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A Nutshell Review: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
DICK STEEL7 June 2012
There are eager animated film franchises that rehashed the same old themes and gags in all its installments, and deservedly crashed under its own repetitiveness. Think Shrek, which started brightly, but with each sequel the grumpy ogre and his friends started to become cheap parodies of themselves. There are other film franchises that grow from strength to strength though, such as Ice Age where we get to go on an incredibly long journey with its characters trying to survive the inevitable change and extinction, and then there's Madagascar, with Europe's Most Wanted surprisingly having a lot more to offer than what it had suggested.

We go back to where we last left off, rejoining Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) who are still in Africa, but getting homesick and yearn for their lives back in New York. So they hatch a plan to regroup with the Penguins, who had left with the Monkeys in their flying machine to Monte Carlo and its glitzy casinos, and compel them to take everyone back to New York. Granted it's a slow start, but when it picked up with Frances McDormand voicing the French policewoman Captain Chantel DuBois, more of an animal hunter in disguise and hell bent on adding a lion to her trophy wall, it really went over the top with a multitude of action sequences that get set to show off dedicated and meticulously crafted moments for 3D. It's clearly one of the better 3D efforts in an animated feature film that took pains to ensure the medium got milked for the premium ticket you paid for.

Then the narrative goes up a notch with the introduction of some circus animals with whom our protagonists get to mix with in order to momentarily escape the fanatical clutches of DuBois, and in comes the opportunity to expand on its cast, with the likes of Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston and Martin Short entering the fray as a cheetah, tiger and sea lion respectively, each with its own distinct quirk, objective and baggage. It's a zoo animal meets circus animal rivalry formed, and Alex and gang wanting to stick around, with thanks to the Penguins, because the circus is en route to Rome and London, where an American circus event promoter would be in town to evaluate if the troupe can make money if brought across the Atlantic, and naturally, New York.

I'm rather surprised by the depth of the narrative here, as Eric Damell and Noah Baumbach's screenplay managed to squeeze a lot in under 90 minutes sans end credits roll. Characters don't get thrown in for fun, but have enough screen time to perform without getting the feeling of being redundant to the whole scheme of things, and how they all blend well together for the major set action pieces, complete with comedy ranging from witty repartee to physical slapstick gags. The major new entrants to this installment will also become crowd favourites, such as the girly cheetah Gia, the curt Russian tiger Vitaly who has to reclaim his theatrical mojo, and Stefano the sea lion trying his very best to hold the entire troupe together, while not being very bright himself.

Every scene got designed to have the characters endear themselves to the audience, even if they come silent, such as the bicycle riding bear, and a couple of English dogs voiced by the likes of Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones and Nick Fletcher. Paz Vega also lent her voice to a collective group of show-horses, while perennial favourites such as Sacha Baron Cohen's Julien and Cedric the Entertainer's Maurice almost always threaten to run away with the show, given their rather spaced out moments that run outside of the main narrative thread. There are colours galore with gags running wild, and I'd suspect where your sense of humour might have been misplaced if there's absolutely nothing here in the film that can tickle your funny bone.

With an assortment of pop songs ranging from 90s hits to those by Katy Perry, the signature theme song only got an airplay during the end credits, and is an amalgamation of the Afro Circus song written by Chris Rock, that somehow had a strange yet infectious blend that epitomizes everything that had transpired in this film, and set itself up for more. Themes of friendship and sticking together through thick and thin, of never giving up and the likes, are good themes to have for a film that's going to appeal to the young for sure.

I'd like to think there's a stop at three policy and to leave the franchise as it is now, going off at a high, rather than to continue with a formula that would ultimately show its age. Madagascar 3 worked and delivered everything you'd expect of a crowd pleaser that can appeal to all age groups, and I'm very much compelled to earmark this for a 3D blu-ray title for keeps. Definitely highly recommended in my books, given its rarity of it improving upon the strengths of its predecessors, and finding room to add more characters, not caricatures, to its mythos.
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The return of the zoo animals.
joefletch-164431 December 2018
Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are back for the third Madagascar movie. This one is the best Madagascar movie in the franchise. It has good animation. Likeable characters, a strong villain and a good use of slapstick humour.
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MR-ODIN17 February 2020
Actually the best of the three. Had more laughs and heart than the other two films combined.
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Best one yet!
jordangross9 June 2012
Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman and the rest of their gang return in the third installment of the "Madagascar" series, and yes they are still trying to get back home to New York City. This film has them traveling with a group of circus animals all throughout Europe on the run from a French animal hunter who has killed every animal and has mounted their head on her wall, except for a lion.

This movie stars the voice talents of Ben Stiller (Tower Heist, Tropic Thunder), Chris Rock (Grown ups, The Longest Yard), David Schwimmer (Friends, John Carter), Jada Pinkett Smith (Ali, Collateral), Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat, Bruno), Cedric the Entertainer (Larry Crowne, Ice Age), and Bryan Cranston (Drive, Breaking Bad). Everyone did a great job with their characters and it was a blast to hear all these familiar voices in a film together again.

I have been a fan of the previous "Madagascar" films, and that still is the case, but I really didn't have any hype for this movie because from the trailers, it didn't really look that good. I am glad to say that it is the complete opposite of that. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed film from start to finish and thought that for certain audiences, the film is perfect. If you are a younger person (12 and under) the movie will entertain and make you laugh the entire time. Now for the other demographic (13 and up), the film is still a really fun experience having jokes that adults would get, as well as some really funny situations.

The "Madagascar" series has been known to be over the top, but "Madagascar 3″ takes the cake for being the most over the top one yet. You can not simply go into this movie expecting a toned down film featuring animals that can talk and doing anything that humans can. You have to go into this film with an open mind and just enjoy the ride. I found myself laughing constantly throughout the film and I couldn't help but have a smile on my face the entire time. This movie made me feel like I was a kid again and that is one of the best feelings there is.

This is easily the best movie in the series in my opinion. What really blew me away though was something that wasn't crucial to the movie, and that was the 3D. This is probably some of the best 3D I have seen in a film. I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was going to pop out next. If you see this film, please do yourself a favor and see the 3D version of it, you will not be disappointed. I highly recommend this film to all ages. Whether you are a kid or an adult, you will find enjoyment in this film.

Rating 7.5/10
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My personal favourite of the Madagascar movies...
TheLittleSongbird18 August 2012
Having enjoyed the first two Madagascar movies and Merry Madagascar, and as a fan of the Penguins Christmas Caper and The Penguins of Madagascar, I knew I wanted to see this film, even if it wasn't as good. Watching it online, I was very taken with Madagascar 3. For me, it is the best of the three movies, and as far as the Dreamworks sequels go, it is third behind Kung Fu Panda 2 and Shrek 2. Madagascar 3 is not a movie I deem perfect, there is some suggestive dialogue during King Julien's romance especially(and in other parts of the film) that will fly over children's heads and only adults will get(same goes with the glove slap) and you do have to suspend disbelief a bit in Alex's dream when the penguins use warp drive for their airship(which you can't do in the earth's atmosphere), especially if you are a scientist.

On the other hand, it is a fun and hugely enjoyable film. It is the best-looking of the three films, the previous two looked great as well but here the characters move easier, the colours have brightness and warmth and the backgrounds have a great deal of detail. Especially of note is the animation during Katy Perry's Fireworks, splendid in all regards. The soundtrack is also great, varied in that it spans 30 years and full of exuberance. Firework I am not a fan of, but loved the animation and thought it fitted really well within the film. The dialogue is well written and hilarious, with light, subtle spoofing on other films and also on the Hollywood clichés.

The story is well paced, exciting and of the three Madagascar it is the most consistent and least predictable. King Julien's romance was on the bizarre side, but also sweet and hilarious. The characters are great fun, of the four main characters Alex is the most dominant and he's fun. Marty, Gloria and Melman don't have as much to do but they aren't completely side-lined. The penguins and King Julien steal every scene they're in. And the new characters are just delightful, especially Vitaly and DuBois. The voice acting is top notch, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer all do very appealing jobs. Sacha Baron Cohen is as witty as ever as King Julien, likewise with the penguins with Tom McGrath standing out as Skipper. The dogs are fun too. Bryan Cranston is subtly menacing, Jessica Chastain is charming and Martin Short is funny, but the jewel(and possibly the best single voice-over of the three movies) is Frances McDormand, whose DuBois is note-perfect.

In conclusion, a very good sequel and movie and my vote for the best of the Madagascar movies. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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A Grand Show
billygoat10717 June 2012
It's been four years since the last Madagascar film was released. Surprisingly, the elements of the franchise is still there and the film does not feel strangely different like in most sequels. Except, this one has a larger scale and crazier action. Well, Dreamworks Animation has gone to a new level in animation. Bringing a quicker, bigger, and more spectacular visuals to the film and make it a non-stop ride and worth it in 3D. But it's still not as compelling as any other classic animation films. The only purpose of these Madagascar films is to have fun and it truly succeeds in doing that.

It has the same old trope of the series. The gang trying to get back to New York then they suddenly bumped into new friends and they end up lingering to their situation and an old lady hates Alex the Lion. The penguins having the best gags and King Julien being crazy. It's delightful and the fans will be pleased for seeing these again. The new characters are as likable as the original characters. While everything is fun, the wonderful visuals adds the film's enjoyment. There are plenty of sequences that are meant to be seen in the big screen, either in 2D or 3D.

Some scenes are ridiculously exciting, some are awfully eye-candy. The film itself is like a spectacular show with so many wonderful colors. But it does not go beyond that. The film only wants to be big, fun, and nothing else. Just make sure you are not looking for more than mind-blowing visuals. The jokes are still pretty hilarious. You will still root for these characters. There is no need to tell how was the voice acting because all of them are predictably good.

Madagascar 3 is the most gorgeous part of the series but not quite the best. The trilogy will probably remain only as a little cult classic. We loved the humor, the characters, and their crazy antics. The movies have heart but there is a little impact to their drama. It's not something like Pixar. But these Madagascar films have their own personality and we accepted it. Talking animals escaping and creating some disaster. Slow moments with clever and sometimes slapstick gags. If you are a fan of these films then you will see something spectacular to it, but like I said, there is nothing bigger than that.
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Wild colors, Ridiculous, and Fun
SnoopyStyle27 August 2013
The gang is back. This time they are trying to return to NY thru Europe. When they get to Monte Carlo, all hell breaks loose and they attract the attention of Animal Control. In order to blend in, they join a traveling circus. Along with the penguins and King Julian, they meet all new characters and have crazy adventures.

The 3D is fun and the colorful kaleidescope is eye candy to the kids. They'll have fun with this confection. The story is ridiculous, stupid, and funny. The whole family will enjoy it. I brought my little nephews and they liked it.
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Out with the old and in with the new
bRAdY-0125 May 2012
I watched this at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 after deciding to take a break from all the serious art-house fare on offer. With the exception of Ben Stiller's lead all the original supporting leads take virtually a back seat in this third instalment. But several great new characters are introduced namely Frances McDormand as Captain Chantel DuBois, Bryan Cranston as Vitaly and the fabulous Martin Short as Stefano. All there performances are stand out but wished Shorts Stefano was featured more. Cranston as Vitaly was beautifully menacing but it is the wacky deadly policewoman in charge of hunting down and capturing the animals as they make their way across Europe which is the centre of the narrative drive. Since the police team where obviously the bad guys (DuBois only wants to capture Mike (Ben Stiller) so she can add his head to her mounted collection of stuffed animals on her office wall) it was ironic that I watched this in France since the police were portrayed as bunch gung-ho obsessive freaks (DuBois crawls around on all fours to sniff down her prey like a dog come insect). The film was screened in 3D, initially I was apprehensive since I don't really enjoy 3D movies but this was a pleasant surprise. After a few minutes I had completely forgotten that I was wearing the 3D glasses and the spectacular climatic scene I was completely wowed. An explosion of vivid movement and colour formed an intricate moving tapestry of light and colour that was gorgeous to watch. The kids will love it and any one young at heart enough to let themselves loose themselves in escapist fun for a couple of hours. One of the best "family" animation films that I've seen in years and highly recommended. Oh I nearly forgot....Baron Cohen's (as The King) love affair with a giant mute bear is both surreal and priceless!
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Summer's most wanted animation.
jdesando7 June 2012
"Poor animals. Now, you deal with ME!" Capitaine Chantel DuBois (voice of Frances McDormand)

Although I miss Fantastic Mr. Fox as much as any contemporary animal fable, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a lees cerebral but more athletic entry into my canon of animations that satisfy both children and adults. Our heroes, led by the charismatic lion Alex (Ben Stiller), are determined to go back to New York by way of a traveling European circus.

If you judge by the quote at the beginning of this essay, you'll note that even the villain, Ciaptaine DuBois, is fun, albeit French, a culture open for satire along with Italy and other vulnerable targets. In fact, DuBois' pursuit of the animals over Europe is a delightful mash-up of goofiness and wit. When she sings Edith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien," I confirmed my nostalgic commitment to this animation and acknowledged the brilliance that would integrate that legendary lament.

Although this animation is written by Fantastic Mr. Fox's Noah Baumbach, much more slapstick and far faster segments occur than in Fox, making it a lesser production but far more attractive to younger audiences. Even the 3-D shamelessly throws debris at the screen. Attractive to all audiences is a major theme of looking ahead to expanding one's talents and seeing home as another springboard for growth rather than a sedate refuge.
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The jokes are forced and the action is chaotic, should please kids though.
Hellmant21 February 2013

The second sequel to the popular DreamWorks animated movie finds the animal characters from the first two films once again trying to make their way home to New York Central Zoo, where they originally escaped from. This time they join a traveling circus in Europe and have an evil Animal Control Captain hot on their trail. Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter and Tom McGrath all reprise their voice roles and are joined this time by Jessica Chastain, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston and Martin Short. The film is just more of the same and I was never a fan of the series to begin with (although I don't think I ever saw the second installment). The jokes are forced and the action is chaotic. Should please kids though.

Alex the lion (Stiller), Marty the zebra (Rock), Melman the giraffe (Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Smith) are still trying to make their way home to the New York Central Zoo, which they escaped from in the original film and traveled to Madagascar (with the help of four penguins). In this film they first journey to Monte Carlo, in order to find the penguins once again. There they find trouble once again as well and have Animal Control called on them. The Captain of Animal Control (McDormand) wants nothing more than to kill Alex and relentlessly pursues him and the other animals. They join a traveling circus, as cover, and find a new family of struggling friends there. They're soon, of course, not sure if they even want to go back to the zoo in New York or not.

The film was directed by Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon and Tom McGrath (Darnell and McGrath also co-directed and co-wrote the first two films as well). Noah Baumbach (who directed and wrote such critically acclaimed hits as 'GREENBERG' and 'THE SQUID AND THE WHALE') also co-wrote the screenplay for this. Considering all the talent involved (in acting, writing and directing) I just expect a lot more. I know the movie is made for kids, and on that level it succeeds, but kids' movies don't have to be so dumbed down and pointless. They can actually be smart, clever and have a well thought out message. This movie is just a mess. A mess that kids will enjoy but probably no one else.

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Dumb isn't funny if you're older than 5
blott2319-122 July 2020
I only have vague memories of watching the first Madagascar movie with some friends and their kids. At the time I thought it was kind of cute, but mostly forgettable. I certainly didn't think it was going to spawn an entire franchise of films and TV shows, but to my surprise it did. One of the sequels was Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. And, for the record, I did indeed watch this without seeing the 2nd movie in the franchise. I don't think much context was needed because this movie is its own insane thing. My distant memories of the first Madagascar film told me that it was all about them wanting to escape captivity to live in the wild. As a result, I found it quite odd that the entire plotline of Madagascar 3 was structured around the heroes wanting to return to their cages. I guess they felt they had a level of fame in the zoo, and they wanted to be loved and adored by humans again. In order to earn their way back to the US they decide to join the circus. There they meet some new friends that love them and accept them as part of the act. From that point on, I'm sure you can write the rest of the plot for them. It's not an original story, and I found it rather boring.

There's been a trend in many animated films lately to include fast-paced insanity instead of story or actual comedy. This annoys me tremendously, and gets me cringing rather than laughing. Madagascar 3 is a poster child for this film-making style. Everything is moving at a mile a minute, and we're asked to laugh just because it's weird. I cannot even recall a single joke that worked in the film, and the story was utter nonsense. As one small example of the stupidity of this movie, somehow the animals all make it from Madagascar to Monte Carlo (I guess by swimming there.) Yet they must go through the entire plot of joining the circus, and working to make it successful enough to tour in New York, in order to make it back home. I understand the real goal of the film-makers was to get the animals in a new and interesting situation, but they couldn't even invent a decent way of getting them there. I was so detached and disinterested throughout this entire film, despite the fact that it has some decent voice talent. Sadly, they were all performing their voices in an exaggerated fashion, so it was rather obnoxious. There were times when I was actively trying to ignore Madagascar 3, so that I wouldn't be annoyed by its frenetic idiocy. Maybe this stuff works for kids, but for me it was tedious, to say the least.
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Madagascar 3 Soars High Above Expectations
stephrenee-385-45152810 June 2012
Finally! We have a movie in 2012 that is worth every minute and every penny. If your kids (or you, for that matter) cannot stop singing "Circus! Afro!" then go ahead and see Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 3D. It is the most clever, fun, and exciting animated film to hit theaters in a long time.

When we see our favorite zoo escapees this time, they are on the run with their jungle friends in Europe. Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) desperately want to get back to Central Park. Standing in their way is Captain Chantel Dubois (Frances McDormand) as the most evil animal control officer in the world. They narrowly escape her clutches by jumping on a train with a traveling circus. Now their only hope for getting to New York is to buy the circus and whip them into good enough shape to earn a touring contract in America.

Director and screenwriter Eric Darnell does an excellent job of leading the crew with this third installment. The story incorporates new characters beautifully by adding a love interest for Alex (Gia, voiced by Jessica Chastain), a dopey friend for Marty (Stefano, voiced by Martin Short), and a fallen hero everyone can cheer for (Vitaly, a tiger voiced by Bryan Cranston). King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) also finds love in a big bear wearing a tutu named Sonya, and the results are as hilariously sweet as the love saga of Donkey and Dragon. Kids will be able to keep up with all of the new names and nationalities and may even find a new favorite character in the bunch.

What makes this movie truly magic is the skillful use of 3D technology. Every leap on the flying trapeze, flight out of a cannon, and grasp at an animal's tail by Captain Dubois jumps out of the screen and excites the senses. It is so refreshing to see a movie in 3D that actually takes full advantage of its capability. The clever script and silly animation also kept me laughing, but I could have done without all of the jabs at people of Russian, French, Canadian, and basically all non-American descent. What was initially funny drifted toward mean, and resulted in one joke that was totally inappropriate. These moments only accounted for about 5 of the nearly 90 minutes of running time, so do not let that deter you from enjoying this chaotic adventure.

Madagascar 3 is just like going to the circus, but with more laughter and less wondering about how the animals are treated backstage. If you still like to "move it, move it," then you need to see it see it!

Review courtesy of The Rogers Revue
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Good movie for kids
IgorNascimentoVeiga30 April 2019
Cartoon is my passion, and this film is a masterpiece when it comes to this subject, a simple yet lively story, suitable for children and also for adults who just want to spend time.
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Hilariously brilliant!!
pranav_20019 June 2012
Whoever said watching a movie in 3D is the same as watching it in 2D, got it all wrong. Madagascar 3 has amazing 3D effects which will really make you experience the movie in a different way. From the beginning till the end, you will get into fits of laughter and the animals will keep you entertained. The overall plot of the movie is good but what really steals the show are the new Italian circus animals and their Italian accent. I always felt that the real hero's of this smart Penguins and Marti, the Lion, is only a pseudo hero.

What I didn't like about this movie was the unrealistic villain and her super human abilities, although funny, but at some point you will feel it was too much. But I can bet you won't notice the small things with the crazy animals making you LOL through out.

My suggestion: Don't miss this one, and watch it in 3D.
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The most underrated sequel
freewill78514 December 2018
The plot is full of twists and turns. It keeps you interested and excited. The story introduces new characters in a very delicate way. I don't know why it got 6.9 points on IMDb... the most elaborate script with lots of nice visual jokes.

Are you feeling down? Watch this and enjoy!
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Unhinged, Absurd, and Fabulous
BabelAlexandria21 April 2020
Totally absurdist comedy, somehow it still works! Like, how did the animals get from Africa to Monaco? Did they just swim? Who knows? Who cares? The manic energy carries it through the holes in plot. There's some irony, of course, in going from a zoo, to freedom in Africa, and then back to a zoo, but at least in this case, the animals own it.

Sebastian's Rating: 9 Stars Sienna's Rating: 9 Stars Paul's Rating: 8 Stars.
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Animation's Least Wanted Foursome Returns
bkrauser-81-3110646 December 2013
Out of morbid curiosity I sat down and watched Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012). I had only seen the first Madagascar (2005) which I didn't like at all. The animation was awkward, the story just wasn't that interesting, the characters were annoying and the primary lessons was "don't eat your friends." This time around it seemed the makers wanted their public to gleefully swallow more absurd notions than a vegetarian lion. Hippos and giraffes can apparently fall in love; as can bears and lemurs, lions and cheetahs. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

The plot revolves around the same four animals, Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer). This time the film starts in Africa as they await the arrival of the penguins (animals who also left the zoo from the first movie) to take them back to the zoo.

Apparently in the movie I didn't see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), the penguins had created a crude aircraft that could fly to Monte Carlo but didn't bring the main characters for some unknown reason. Fearing they were abandoned, the four, along with their lemur compatriots, make their arduous journey to Monte Carlo, which meant they would have had to walk through the thick jungles of central Africa then trek across the world's largest desert, then swim the width of the Mediterranean. But hey why focus on that when with one screen dissolve they're there! Convenient.

The foursome manage to sneak into a Monte Carlo casino where the penguins and their monkey friends are winning it big. Things get hairy. The fuzz is called and we are introduced to our main villain Captain DuBois (Frances McDormand) a psychotic, seemingly unstoppable animal control agent. From there the movie just throws everything including the kitchen sink at you in fast procession. A nuclear reactor, a flying machine, an Edith Piaf song that can cure broken bones, a flying circus with a new glut of characters is introduced Jesus movie! Can't you slow down enough to explain anything? Now don't be thinking I have a lack of imagination here because I don't personally believe a hippo can fit through an air-duct. All I'm saying is if you want to violate the laws of physics that much you should keep it consistent. Why don't the animals simply swim to New York? Why don't they use the nuclear reactor they just happen to have to go back in time before they ever left? Why not break into the CERN Hadron collider in Geneva and make their particle mass resemble that of an electron then travel to New York near the speed of light? They're in the neighborhood after all.

In conclusion, just don't waste your time with Europe's Most Wanted. If you have kids and care about their future, don't expose them to this dreck. If you do, you might as well get used to raising a child who thinks all complex problems can be solved by acrobatics and a Katy Perry song.
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Big Top fun!...
cat_ranchero16 June 2013
I seldom laugh out loud whilst watching a film, but this one easily passed the '6 laugh test'. There are some delightfully funny sight gags and some really subtle dialogue that, I'm guessing, was deliberately put in for the adults. All of the performances were great, as far as voice- only performances can be. The stand-out for me was Francis McDormand; she really got into the part! It's a film that was never going to win any awards, but, you know, it did exactly what it was meant to do, and that's entertain. Aside from a couple of annoying musical numbers (which are probably featured in the trailer) I found it quite a surprising delight. Definitely recommended for both young and old alike.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.9/10

You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
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They got rid of the animals? Good.
Pjtaylor-96-13804430 November 2021
'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)' takes the franchise to a place it really didn't need to go. One of the worst things it does, in terms of being a third entry in a pre-existing series, is totally undercut the events of its predecessor. Here, the focal four are, essentially, grouped into a single character with the same wants and needs that Alex has had since the first movie; they strangely undergo the same arc that Alex himself underwent in the gang's second outing. Why does Marty want to go back to the zoo when he was the one whose desire to leave it kicked off the events of the first film? That's always been Alex's desire, one which he lets go of in the second film after finding his ancestral home and literal family. Even the others in the group surely should have found more value in their natural environment of Africa than in a travelling circus, right? Plus, the characters lack most of the traits they had in prior outings. I mean, Alex should surely regard himself as a performer considering that was pretty much his entire personality in the previous films, yet he initially lies his way into the circus and is worried when asked to perform for it; Marty has no worries about being regarded as unique, his whole deal in the previous film, and (as I mentioned) he actually wants to go back to the very place he desired to escape; Gloria's relationship with Melman is barely mentioned (probably because it's a bit odd), when the realisation that love was always right next to her was her whole deal in film number two (she also never even mentions the breeding program again, which initially kicked off her quest for love); and, heck, Melman isn't even a hypochondriac anymore, a trait that was his defining characteristic prior to this outing. It's really weird, to be honest, and reeks of an out-of-ideas producer going "fuck it, they're going to join the circus!" The movie is very strange and inconsistent in its aesthetics and style of humour, too. It leaves you scratching your head on more than one occasion. What's that scene all about where the villain, a literal animal-killing psychopath, sings 'Non, Je ne regrette rien'? Why can that same villain run through walls without even flinching? Why do Mort and Maurice literally disappear during the second act? Why is a conflict established wherein the group can't decide who should be its leader only to be dropped one or two scenes later? Why does King Julien have a romance with a non-speaking, motorbike-riding circus bear? Come to think of it, why do the filmmakers have a bizarre obsession with interspecies relationships? Why does the tiger's act consist of him oiling up and leaping through a flaming cock-ring when almost every scene he's in establishes him as an incredibly proficient knife-thrower? Why is the flaming cock-ring even a thing to begin with? How do the gang get to Monaco from Africa (something that wouldn't be bothersome if the rest of the plot didn't revolve around them trying to cross a similar distance in order to get home)? Where is Skipper's bobble-headed wife nowhere to be seen? Why does Katy Perry's 'Firework' play unironically twice? Why is the circus act so oddly psychedelic and how can the group afford to put it on after the penguins blow all their cash? Why are there still circus animals performing in 2012? Why is this presented as a positive thing instead of an abuse of animal rights? And, for the love of God, why isn't the monkey who can talk the 'head' of the person they're pretending to be by standing on each other's shoulders, a person who's inexplicably fashioned as the King of Versailles*? None of these questions have satisfying answers. Everything just feels so haphazard and rushed. It's redundant, too, as I mentioned; it leaves things in a similar position to the prior film but in a much less natural way. Having said all that, the piece isn't terrible. It has a few highlights, for sure. It's occasionally quite funny (though clearly the least humorous of the three) and it's typically rather visually pleasing. It also moves at a clip, so fast that you don't really have time to care all that much about its plethora of issues. Still, there is a sense that it's sort of subpar overall. It's kind of bad, to be honest, but it leaves you feeling pretty ambivalent. In a strange way, it's just as difficult to dislike as it is to like. Ultimately, it feels like a TV movie with a feature film sheen. It's fine. 5/10

*I've just had it pointed out to me that the monkey who can speak can only speak to other animals, just like the other speaking characters. I guess it does make sense for him to be on the bottom, as it enables communication with other characters hidden under the dress.
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Last chapter of a fine trilogy
bellino-angelo20144 July 2018
This is the third and final (by now) chapter of the Madagascar franchise, and it's good as his predecessors.

Here Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are ''stuck'' in Africa, and then Alex has a nightmare where all his friends are old, but soon he wakes up and remembers that is his birthday, and has the idea to go to Monte Carlo and get the penguins, but they are soon discovered by a French animal catcher named Captain Chantal DuBois that wants to kill Alex for his head on the wall, but when they defeat her, the plane falls on the ground and the quartet joins a travelling circus direct to the Usa.

And they soon befriend a Russian tiger named Vitaly, a female Jaguar, a Italian sea lion named Stefano and few other animals. They perform in Rome, Saragoza, and then New York, and the circus animals help the quartet in knocking off forever Captain DuBois, sending her on a ship to Madagascar.

The first Madagascar movie was great (and I wrote a long review about it), the second was good and this is also well made.

The animation is good as always, the soundtrack nice to hear at (with the catchy song AFRO CIRCUS) and the actors are all good, especially Ben Stiller as Alex, Martin Short as Stefano and Oscar winner Frances McDormand as the villain Chantal DuBois.

I recommend this movie to the fans of the trilogy, but (ALERT) you can't see this if you didn't saw the first and the second chapter!
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Third time isn't the charm here...
natashabowiepinky29 June 2013
Remember poor old Quasimodo trudging around Notre Dame. lamenting about "THE BELLS, THE BELLS!"|? I was like that during the majority of this film, hands on my ears chanting "THE NOISE, THE NOISE!!" Everyone involved in this production needs a serious dose of Ritalin, as nearly every scene is in-your-face screaming and shouting, while extracts from pop songs blare away meaninglessly in the background and chaos reigns on screen, to no great effect. Proof positive that you can have all the pandemonium and hubris you want, but they're no match for good old fashioned storytelling and appealing characters, both of which are in short supply here.

I was no great fan of the two prequels to this, but both were better than this. In fact, if you liked them, you'll probably love this... Since it takes all the things I hated in the first couple of entries, and multiplies them. So, you have even more shrill, hyperactive running about trying to pass off as humour, tons more jokes so weak they make Walter The Softy look like He-Man, and plenty more of a stupid plot which I couldn't have given tuppence about. Yes, there is a new vaguely amusing female hunter bad 'guy' whose bizarre antics provoke a few smiles, and the megalomaniac band of penguins are always a delight. But the meagre good points are sucked in like a bottomless quagmire by the litany of flaws, until the whole thing just stinks.

PLEASE no fourth one. Haven't we had enough already? 3/10
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This one is really strictly for the kids.
3xHCCH10 June 2012
The first "Madagascar" was unexpectedly funny and entertaining. Those four lead characters Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman were delightful and pretty likable. However, the second one already gave me the feeling that the franchise was getting tired. Now that the Penguins already have their own TV show, I don't really want to see them on screen anymore! However, how could I say no to the kids who wanted to see this third installment? I just had to grin and shell out for the tickets.

Missing their zoo in New York after a long stay in Africa (from the second film), our four friends now make their way to Europe in order to find a way to go back to their old home. While being pursued by the French Animal Control officers, led by the superhuman-ly relentless Captain Chantel Dubois (who wants Alex the Lion's head on her wall), the four join a circus animal train to escape. How opportune that this particular train was en route to New York too. So now, Alex and friends have to help their new friends get their circus act together in order to be finally NYC-bound.

I felt that this whole flimsy story was just there to in order set up the stage for one spectacular scene: a very colorful and beautifully- animated "Fantasia"-inspired sequence of multi-animal circus acrobatics accompanied by Katy Perry's hit song "Firework." The relationship of the four friends, which was the center of the first two episodes, were hardly tackled at all. This time it was just all about the action of eluding the animal catchers and getting to New York. The voice work was flawless as usual. Having Frances McDormand there as the vicious Capt. Dubois and Jessica Chastain as the cute jaguar-trapeze artist Gia were nice to know as the final credits were running.

Overall, I did not enjoy this one too much. I did not really have any LOL-moments while watching this particular installment. There were in fact a lot of cringe-worthy moments led by that very lame sequence where Marty was painted white with big polka dots and wearing a huge multi- colored Afro wig. As for the new characters, the ability of Vitaly the Tiger to go through small hoops was too impossible, the face of Stefano the Seal is too annoying to be cute, and the bear "girlfriend" of King Julien the Lemur felt unnecessary. This one is really strictly for the kids.
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Surprisingly good and fun.
Boba_Fett113811 June 2012
Having not been the biggest Madagascar movies fan, this third movie came as a bit as a surprise to me. It was much better and more fun than basically the two previous installments combined.

Thing I mostly disliked about the previous two movies, was that they felt rushed and had two much jumping around and bright colors in it. It didn't seemed all that worried about telling a fun story or having impressive looking animations in them. They thought that simple, childish actions and comedy would be enough to draw in a big crowd. And I guess they were right about it but it didn't exactly made them good movies to watch, at least not to me.

This third movie feels far more well thought out. Everything was written far better and all of the comedy was being much more clever and got executed better in the movie. I can even actually actually say that most of the comedy and gags really hits and the movie had me smiling and laughing, basically the whole time.

It also definitely makes all of the characters work out as much better ones. In the previous movies they all had something annoying to them as well but that's all truly gone in this film! They are all simply amusing and the movie introduces a whole bunch of new fun characters as well this time. This also has as a result that there is no time and room for any distracting side-plots, featuring either Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) or Gloria Jada Pinkett Smith. It makes the movie feel more balanced and focused, since there aren't really too many distractions from its main story this time around.

But even though that the story story is far better written, I really can't say that the movie is being anything too brilliant with its actual story. It's all being some incredibly formulaic stuff but at least they knew how to make things fun and the story really doesn't feel that important for the movie at all. The story leaves plenty of room and opportunities for fun and gags, involving all of the characters, new and old ones.

Also the animations seemed to be more smooth, as if they decided to spend some more money and/or to put some more time into the making of this movie this time. Some great choices, that helped me to finally truly love a Madagascar movie and made me interested in actually seeing more Madagascar movies now. I most definitely would rather want to see another Madagascar movie than a new Shrek, that's for sure!

A really fun movie to watch, I'm surprised to say.

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Beautiful Animation Lazy Story
yaktheripper27 July 2012
Don't get me wrong...took 2 ten year olds and a 2 year old and they had a great time. They talked about the movie for ten minutes after and haven't brought it up since. This is a kids movie and it's pretty basic. As an adult you should enjoy some of the visual dazzle of the movie but the jokes are for the age group intended. The story telling is as lazy as you'd expect and the message repetitive as usual. And I challenge you to escape finding Ben Stiller not once again playing Ben Stiller. I've enjoyed many of his movies in the past but his range is Ben Stiller. So, in review, take the kids if you've drank enough coffee (I fell asleep twice), expect nothing new, be impressed with the superb animation, let the kids talk about it for a few minutes after the movie, and watch Ben Stiller play a lion who acts like Ben Stiller.
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The Vidiot Reviews...
capone66617 October 2012
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

The thing about Europe's Most Wanted is most often the wanted is a Canadian fleeing dismemberment charges back home.

However, in the case of this animated movie, the hunted are all Americans.

Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) flee Madagascar for their home in NYC.

Stopping in Monte Carlo to pick up their penguin pals' plane, the zoo crew attracts an Animal Control officer (Frances McDormand) determined to mount Alex's pride.

But when their plane doesn't pan out, Alex and the gang must join a traveling circus disguised as Big Top performers.

While the cast has grown long in the fang, the injection of new characters, garish colours and foreign venues has revitalizes this waning series.

Incidentally, between a zoo and a circus, these exotic creatures would suffer less abuse hiding in an abattoir. (Green Light)
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