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The Madness of Madagascar (Movie Review)

When I saw that this movie had Chris Rock and Ben Stiller in it - and it was created by the creators of Shrek, I was so there. I would've gone even if I didn't have children. I felt it would be that good. So, the day arrives. The movie premieres; and, my kids and I are at the theater. The film starts.

I'm not impressed. It's not nearly as funny as it could be. Sure, the lithe Jada Pinkett Smith as a hippo named Gloria is cute and a wee bit sassy. Yes, Chris Rock as the wise-cracking Marty the Zebra who wants to return to Mother Africa has potential. David Schwimmer is annoying and whiny as the hypochondriac giraffe, Melman. Ben Stiller is Alex the Lion. He is the star of the show at the Zoo.

The story? Marty is going through his mid-life crisis. He's ten and realizes that he's stuck in the zoo. He wants to roam free. His friends are happy in captivity, especially Alex, who gets the star treatment as the Zoo's main attraction. They don't understand where he's coming from.

Marty breaks free with some help from three, Goodfella-type penguins. These guys are the root of all hilarity in the movie. Honestly! Yup! Ben Stiller and Chris Rock are upstaged by some penguins.

Because Marty doesn't know where he's going on the streets of New York (who does?) - he ends up causing quite the kafuffle at the train station. His friends try to save him, but end up making things worse. This causes quite the uproar. Animal rights' activists win the day and say that the animals belong in the wild.

Marty's friends are angry with him. They didn't want to lose their cushy lives. Marty is excited about returning to Africa. He envisions life there as perfect and free. Unfortunately, the penguins who stow away on board the freighter have other ideas. They hijack the ship and steer a course for what they think is Antarctica. They all end up in Madagascar, an island off the east coast of Africa.

Madagascar, in this film, is portrayed as a wild, jungle with only animal life. There's no humans, just a bunch of lemurs, who love to "move, it." They like to "move it, move it." They dance, they sing and they party.

They're also scared of the Foosa, predators who eat lemurs, apparently. The lemurs, led by King Julien XIII (Sacha Baron Cohen), decide that these "New York Giants" are just what they need to keep them safe. Unfortunately, Alex's return to the wild makes him return to being a true lion, the king of the jungle, a real predator. He has dreams of eating his best friend, Marty the Zebra.

Alex takes off to protect his friends. In the end, Alex has to decide to overcome his natural urges. He chooses friendship - and discovers a love of seafood, which is very plentiful on the island. Yay! At the same time, our faithful friends figure out that life isn't always so greener on the other side of the jungle. Initially stranded, the animals catch a bit of luck (or do they?) when the penguins return from Antarctica and land in Madagascar.

Gloria, Marty, Melman and Alex decide to leave; but, now the lemurs have a new problem. The penguins like it on Madagascar. Uh-oh! I smell a sequel.

I sure hope not. The movie was cute and had some hilarious moments. Mostly, it was annoying. You were left with wanting more. More funny, more plot, more something. In the end, Madagascar is a cute family film without much meat.
About the Author

Johann Erickson writes for Facts Jokes N Fun. Please include an active link to our site if you'd like to reprint this article.

Johann Erickson