Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Bernie Mac
Tom McGrath,Eric Darnell
If you are a regular reader of The Independent Critic, then you already know that I wasn't particularly a fan of the original "Madagascar." It's not that I had anything particular against it, it just struck me as a fairly typical animated feature with nothing to really recommend it.
"Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa" covers pretty much the same exact territory. In other words, kids will love it and adults will be grateful for its relatively quick 89-minute running time.
If you are able to catch "Madagascar 2" on an IMAX screen, I highly recommend doing so. What the film has going for it, primarily, is the animation and it's far more awesome to behold on the IMAX screen.
If, however, you require a story to go with your animation then "Madagascar 2" is going to be a fairly disappointing venture. As was true of the original, "Madagascar 2" centers on the quirky characters and pretty much the entire voice cast is back for this sequel plus a couple notable additions (including the late Bernie Mac).
In the sequel, we catch up to the characters of Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Alex (Ben Stiller) as they are headed back to the Central Park Zoo. Rather quickly, the plane goes down (5-year-olds should stop reading now as this may be interpreted as a plot spoiler) and they get stuck back in Africa where Alex gets reunited with his father, Zuba (Bernie Mac) and the characters basically do the same things they did in the first film.
Hey, it worked the first time. It'll be great this time, right?
Okay, maybe not.
Truthfully, I didn't care for "Madagascar 2" a bit. Yet, I'm not the target audience for the film. It's aimed squarely at the kiddoes and the kiddoes should enjoy it.
"Madagascar 2" is lively, energetic, colorful and well-paced with a soundtrack ranging from Barry Manilow to Boston to "Born Free" and more.
As there hasn't been much in the way of family fare, "Madagascar 2" should open to gangbuster business. Will this bring us a "Madagascar 3: Stuck in Africa Again?"
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic