Confession time. I did not see Madagascar. Nope. The trailer did nothing for me – and I was thoroughly penguined out, in any case. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when the trailer to Escape 2 Africa actually caught my attention. Further, you can probably imagine my surprise when I sat through the film and found myself laughing. Not uproariously, mind you, but laughing.
There’s probably no point in providing a plot description. Other reviewers will have covered that in enough detail that only the ending will be in doubt [though I’m not spoiling anything when I say it’s a happy one].
What you need to know is that Madagascar 2 is funny, frequently very much so. Also that the main characters – Alex the lion [Ben Stiller], Marty the zebra [Chris Rock], Melman the giraffe [David Schwimmer] and Gloria the hippo [Jada Pinkett-Smith] – are only half the story, laugh-wise. The second string – King Julian the lemur [an unrecognizable Sascha Baron Cohen], Mort the squirrel [Andy Richter] and head penguin Skipper [Tom McGrath], among others – more than hold up their end of the comedy tentpole.
There are some scenes that might scare younger kids [a toddler was taken, crying, from the theater when the villainous lion, Alec Baldwin’s Mukunga, was being particularly nasty], but as a whole, this is a film that will thrill kids while not boring parents. Fans of CG animation will also enjoy the film.
Now I’m going to have to rent the first film. Nuts!
Final Grade: B