Beastly bar­rage at cliche cen­tral

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

ES­CRIB­ING Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted as the ‘‘best’’ of the abysmal an­i­mated Mada­gas­car tril­ogy is like in­di­cat­ing a slight pref­er­ence for be­ing locked in a sweat­box in­stead of wa­ter­boarded – ei­ther way, you feel enor­mous grat­i­tude when it’s over.

De­spite a strong show­ing at the US box-of­fice, what might be tol­er­a­ble in a seven-minute short is one of the big-screen’s big­gest headache-in­duc­ers since Trans­form­ers: Dark of the Moon.

Mada­gas­car 3 is an ex­haust­ing, eye­ball-goug­ing as­sault of non-stop ac­tion, with an all-star voice cast shout­ing wit­less lines and a wide va­ri­ety of ob­jects lobbed at au­di­ences in the crud­est of 3D.

Ben Stiller – who re­turns as the lead voice of a neu­rotic cow­ardly lion – re­cruited his Green­berg di­rec­tor, Noah Baum­bach, to col­lab­o­rate on the min­i­mal­ist script, ap­par­ently com­posed on a pa­per nap­kin. But don’t go ex­pect­ing an­other Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox, which Baum­bach co-wrote with Wes An­der­son.

Mada­gas­car 3 is cliche cen­tral as the dis­placed Cen­tral Park Zoo an­i­mals – voiced by Chris Rock, Jada Pin­kett Smith and David Sch­wim­mer – fol­low their mon­key and pen­guin companions to Monte Carlo to break the bank and fi­nance their trip home. This amounts to a fea­ture­long chase by a French an­i­mal-con­trol of­fi­cer (Frances McDor­mand) that leads all the way back to the US.

First, though, the an­i­mals try to elude her by buy­ing a trav­el­ling cir­cus, al­low­ing DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion to em­ploy Bryan Cranston, Jes­sica Chas­tain and Martin Short to voice a tiger, jaguar and sea lion.

Mada­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted con­cludes with an in­ter­minable Cen­tral Park per­for­mance that looks like a plug for dis­trib­u­tor Para­mount’s up­com­ing Cirque du Soleil movie.

A scene from

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