UK Release date: 19th October 2012
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 16th June 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Those of you that read my stuff regularly will know I have a liking for all animated films, and not just those Disney ones. I have, over the years, enjoyed the adventures of Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo as they try to find their way back to their home at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. As usual we have a mix of comedy and morality as this unlikely band have to find their way across Europe this time. Here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
At the end of part 2 we left the gang in Africa as the penguin’s, led by Skipper (Tom McGrath), take off for Monte Carlo with the monkeys to make a fortune at the casino. Fearing they will never come back, Alex (Ben Stiller) persuades Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) to come with him to Monte Carlo. Also along for the ride are King Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his servants Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) and Mort (Andy Richter). Things don’t go according to plan and they find themselves in the run with Animal Control Officer, Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand), hot on their trail. They hook up with a travelling circus with a leopard, Gia (Jessica Chastain), a grumpy tiger, Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) and a crazy Italian sea lion Stefano (Martin Short), amongst others, and head to Rome. There is a chance the circus could be making a tour of the United States but they have to impress an agent in London. The trouble is, there is not much time, they’re quite terrible and DuBois is closing in!
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.
IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 61,322 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 60/100: (Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 74/100 (based on 223,655 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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