Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie Review
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a 2008 computer-animated comedy film from DreamWorks Animation and it the second entry in the franchise. It is again more of the same in terms of quality.
The animals try to go back to New York, but they crash-land in Africa where each meets others of the same species and tries to adapt to the new environment. The story here is incredibly flat and just plain uninspired. Whereas the first movie was annoying, this one is more predictable and just unfocused. It tries to focus on too many characters and thus failing to establish any of them properly. Not to mention that all of their stories are mostly boring and overly familiar with Alex’s story being the finest, but still such a blatant rip-off of ‘The Lion King’. It feels overlong for its short running time which is the testament to how boring and too fast-paced it is. It has its moments, but the first movie was more interesting to me in terms of the storyline.
The characters are okay, they are solidly developed, there is no denying that. But as I said above, the movie does not focus on any one of them in particular (maybe only on Alex the lion) and that is why they nonetheless fail to get a proper screen time or a proper development. Alex gets to finally meet his family and that was sweet, but that whole story was also a giant cliché and Makunga is such a blatant rip-off of Scar that it is just appalling to witness. Marty is so annoying with his “identity problem” and Melman and Gloria are both never as funny as the movie thinks they are. However, their newly established relationship I did find interesting, no matter how ludicrous it does seem. King Julien is much funnier this time around with a couple of hilarious moments near the end and the penguins steal the show again as expected.
The voice actors again did a great job with the newly added Bernie Mac and Alec Baldwin doing a good job. David Schwimmer, Ben Stiller and especially Sasha Baron Cohen once again steal scenes from the rest of the actors and their characters.
The humor I found okay, but still lacking. The ending had many funny moments from Macunga’s demise to King Julien’s lines at the volcano which were just phenomenal. The penguins are also really good, especially near the beginning, and the overall humor when present is solid, but it is nonetheless rarely there and most is just forced and quite unfunny. And the fact that Alex and Marty give the backseat to the other characters in this one both in terms of character development and humor is unfortunate.
As for the film’s animation, well, it is an improvement over its predecessor, that’s for sure. It is much more crisp and just looks better with some nice looking sequences. However, it is still flawed and the character design is still awkward and the natural landscapes still do not look as good as they should have looked for the year of 2008. It is a serviceable animation, but the one with no artistic sensibilities or higher moments whatsoever.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is certainly on the bottom of the list of DreamWorks animated features as it is just so mediocre and so incredibly forgettable. And it was a weaker film than I remember it being when I first watched it about five years ago. And that is why it is quite on par and maybe even weaker than ‘Madagascar‘ which has more focus and better humor. This one is the less engaging one as well. It is difficult deciding which one is the better flick, but it just might be the original that is the better one which is an interesting development for me as I deemed it the worst in the franchise up to this point.
It has okay imagery, but uninspired. It is weakly directed and simply awfully paced and edited. The score is a bit better this time around with thankfully not to many pop songs and pop culture references which I appreciated. The dialogue is passable and the beginning and the ending are nicely done. The emphasis on the character of Nana is problematic. Yes, she is funny at times, but she is still too accentuated and is given too much running time, eventually becoming a nuisance. It is a typical and way too forgettable flick that doesn’t add anything new to the table which is why it is a mediocrity. It isn’t that bad, but it most certainly ain’t good either.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is once again a weak entry in the franchise with some solid humor from time to time, improved animation and some interesting scenes, but it is overall a forgettable experience with a typical story that lacks focus, too many characters with most getting an uninspired treatment and it is, as a whole, rather boring and mediocre.
My Rating – 2.5
Interior & Exterior Stills from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
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