Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Madagascar 2

This isn’t exactly what I call “film.” It’s more in the orbit of “guilty pleasure.” I’ve seen the first “Madagascar” many more times than I care to admit. My wife and I love it so much, we even forced my grandparents to watch it. Their polite smiles and bewildered expressions were priceless.

I have a deep-seated fear of sequels. 2010, Shrek 2, Matrix 2, Ghostbuster 2, Aliens, Die Hard 2….. It’s an undeniable pattern. Sequels are Hollywood’s systematic prostitution of all that we hold dear and sacred. And we’re all masochists. Not to sound overly dramatic or anything.

So what about Madagascar 2? It ain’t Judas, and it ain’t the second coming. It had enough sparks of originality, irreverence, and pop-culture jabs to make me occasionally laugh my ass off. It’s Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman. It’s insane penguins and cultured monkeys, with a sexually ambiguous lemur thrown in for good measure. It’s a love-slap in The Lion King’s face.

The story lacks the focus and uniform trajectory of its predecessor. You'll drift in and out. You’ll wonder exactly why it was necessary to bring back the castrating granny.

If you’ve got twelve dollars to waste, you could do much worse.

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