One can take only so much frenzy before it brings fatigue and puts you to sleep. Madagascar 3 is so filled with flips and high speed antics that you become tired of the film while watching it. Until fatigue sets in, it is a delight to see Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) on their fighting journey to return to the Big Apple from Africa.
Of course, King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric The Entertainer) and the entourage of penguins are along for the ride, which takes them on a whirlwind trek through Europe. Paris, Monte Carlo and Rome's Coliseum are highlights of this exciting escape, but it is too exciting to allow a glimpse into the creative genius involved here. The colors are spectacular and the movement is constant. Our beloved animals manage to hitch a ride on a train that is carrying a touring circus and provides a perfect cover for our 3D cartoon stars. The music is lively and keeps you on your toes while you watch the animals run from Captain Chantel DuBois, the animal control cop they attract in Monte Carlo who chases them throughout the film (Frances McDormand creates this Gaelic voice and steals every scene).
The down-on-its-luck circus enlists Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) to be the knife-throwing tiger, but he botches his performance. Nevertheless, Gia (Jessica Chastain) thinks our Americans can put this circus back on top. Martin Short as a performing seal captures your heart for a moment. Directors Eric Darnell (who co-wrote the script with Noah Bach), Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon use the circus as a vehicle for 3D effects, including a dazzling trapeze act that startles and charms.
This film will delight children of all ages, but as far as adult entertainment goes, it is a surefire miss. You will be reminded of a bumbling Inspector Clouseau as you watch Captain Chantel DuBois, but I longed for Peter Sellers instead of caricatures attempting to make a plot that is thin and one that we've seen come full circle before. Rent a Peter Sellers film rather than suffer through this 3D menagerie -- unless you have children for whom this is suitable. Catch an original Pink Panther film if you want laughs and adventure.
Follow Carole Mallory on Twitter: www.twitter.com/carolemallory