Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa


Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Written by:Etan Cohen
Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Alec Baldwin, Bernie Mac
Released: December 11, 2008
Grade: C+

I didn’t mind Madagascar but this follow up does what so many sequels do – it fails to live up the original.  The plot isn’t very interesting and the jokes are average.  I’m sure that many kids will still love it but as a 31-year-old adult, I was left with feelings of disappointment.

To quickly recap, the four central characters are Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the elephant.  They are voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith.  In the first film, these animals escaped from the New York Zoo and ended up on the island of Madagascar.

This time around, they’re looking to take the return journey.  They’re going to fly back to New York in a rickety old plane piloted by a group of penguins.  It’s a recipe for disaster and the plane crashes not long after take off.  They end up stranded in an African wildlife preserve with a group of similar animals.

Alex is reunited with his long lost parents, Marty impresses his fellow zebras with some cool tricks, Melman thinks he has a terminal illness and Gloria goes in search of love.  Doing their best to create conflict are a group of feisty humans who have become lost in the wilderness and an old lion named Makunga (Baldwin) who yearns for power.

That’s pretty much that.  It’s a forgettable adventure with little suspense.  I was expecting a lot more.  Give me the first film any day.