Movie review: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

After seeing Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar, I was ready to see the second Madagascar movie. (The Penguins of Madagascar, a movie devoted to just the penguins, is a later spin-off.) I expected great things.

I was kind of disappointed.

It was great to see the quartet again, accompanied by King Julian and the penguin troupe. But it didn’t quite seem to fit together as well as the other movies.

Given the recent killing of Cecil, the opening scene was a bit disturbing. (Granted, this movie was made years before Cecil was illegally killed.) The movie opens with a scene that explains where Alex came from. As a young cub, he was lured off of the reserve by hunters while his dad was preoccupied. Yes, you read that right: lured off of the reserved by hunters.

His father managed to thwart the successful capture of Alex but Alex was gone, floating across the ocean to New York in a crate.

The movie then cuts to where we last saw our heroes—in Madagascar. They are leaving Madagascar in an attempt to get back home to the Central Park Zoo. Unfortunately, their plane goes down in Africa—the site of their latest adventures.

In Africa, Alex is reunited with his parents, disappoints his dad by not being able to fight like lions should, succeeds in getting himself and his parents banished from the tribe, and then later restores both his father’s pride in himself and his father’s place as head of the tribe.

Meanwhile, Marty has found his people and is happily running with the herd of zebras. After spending his life thinking he is special, he realizes that he looks, talks, and has similar talents to all other zebras. Even Alex, his best friend, can’t tell him apart from the other zebras.

Gloria, ready for a man in her life, falls for another hippo…the animal equivalent of the jock who thinks he is a ladies man. Melvin, after some advice from King Julian, seeks out Gloria to confess his undying love for her. In the end, the two exchange googly eyes with each another.

King Julian, other than giving Melvin dating advice, attempts to persuade the animals to follow his advice: an animal sacrifice into the volcano would appease the gods and cause the dry watering hole to fill with water.

The penguins commandeered the plane that brought the group from Madagascar to Africa, then steal some jeeps from safaris and fight the trade union that the chimpanzees are trying to form.

In the end, the group is still stuck in Africa. Something tells me that they will not be satisfied to stay there.

Hopefully, the third movie is better than the second.

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