Newest Review: ... adult Alex. If I'd watched this in the cinema, I don't think I would have purchased it on DVD as we won't want to keep watching this. ... more
A trip on the wild side
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DVD)
Member Name: cha97mw
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DVD)
Advantages: Catchy music, some humour, animation is still high quality.
Disadvantages: bit of a lion king rip off, and some jokes seem to stretch too thin. Plot a bit far fetched.
The film starts with a montage of a family of lions in Africa. Poachers steal baby Alex from his father, and we see how he ended up in the Zoo in New York in the first place. We then cut to the present in Madagascar where the animals were at the end of the original film. They are preparing to leave the island. The penguins have repaired a plane they found on the island, and plan to fly back to New York. However, on the way they run out of fuel and crash land in Africa.
By some co-incidence, they crash land in the same reserve that Alex was taking from as a child and he is reunited with his parents. He gets chance to see how they live in the wild, and the animals do enjoy seeing their heritage and getting to know Alex's family. However, Alex needs to adapt to fit in as he may have been the King of the New York jungle, but he is a bit of a misfit amongst a pride of lions. He finds a way to use his skills to help the animals and make his parents proud of him.
For me, this film was perhaps the weakest in the franchise. The plot of the animals going back to their homeland and landing back in the nature reserve is a little bit too contrived for me, and it felt a bit forced in places. I think there was a lot of repetition of action sequences from film one, and one small gag from film one was made into quite a major part of this film. We saw a little old lady in Grand Central Station attacking Alex with her handbag. This same little old lady is now on a wildlife safari, and again has a thing about being violent towards the animals, and it just didn't sit right with me.
Most of my interest lay in watching how the animals reacted to finding other animals in Africa. Previously we have seen the four central characters, Alex the lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the hippo, all happy in each others company. Here we see what happens when they meet their own kind, and it causes conflict for them.
While this was worth a watch, for me, I find it is not something that I could watch over and over again like film one and three. The plot just does not stand up to it. Musically, it is also quite similar to film one featuring songs like 'I like to Move it' and 'Born Free' though I did like songs like 'More than a Feeling' and 'Copacabana'.
The new relationships were interesting enough to keep me engaged, but not as strong as the relationships we see in film three. I also had made the assumption that film three must have started pretty much where film two ended, but I find that it really didn't. Yes, it was set in Africa, but there was no farewell to Alex's parents, and we also saw two characters start a relationship in this film that was not mentioned again at all in series three which I find disappointing as I like to see a bit of continuity. I find it spoils it for me when things are obviously not mentioned.
The humour isn't so much laugh your socks off humour, just silly things like Marty has always thought he was really unique, so it is traumatic for him when he realises that he is identical in looks and sound to every other zebra in the herd and none of his friends can recognise him any more.
It also has a touch of lion king about it for me with an evil Uncle character wanting to take over as leader within the Pride and causing the baby Alex to be stolen and then deliberately confusing the adult Alex.
If I'd watched this in the cinema, I don't think I would have purchased it on DVD as we won't want to keep watching this. Some trilogy's do have a weak point, and in this case, this is it.
Summary: The weak link in the trilogy of films for me.