Saturday, December 20, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar Review

I feel it's safe to say that I am a fan of Dreamworks Animation. No, they aren't as good as Pixar, Disney, or a few of the other animation studios, but they have put out a lot of solid movies over the years that I have really enjoyed. The problem with Dreamworks is that they are one company who is especially obsessed with the sequel idea. They actually make a lot of movies, usually at least two a year -- many years three, but when the come upon a movie that has a lot of success, you can almost count on a sequel. In fact, you can count on them squeezing every last penny out of these successful franchises until people are completely sick of them. This is what I feel is happening with the Madagascar franchise. I mean, we've already had three of them. And on top of this current Penguins of Madagascar spin-off, a Madagascar 4 is on the way. Apparently people are still liking these movies, which is why they keep coming. But I personally got tired of this franchise. I decided to give this spin-off a chance, though, because I do like the penguins. Bad decision. This movie is a complete pile of crap and I am glad that it is tanking hard in the box office right now.

Like I mentioned, Penguins of Madagascar comes from the popular penguin characters from the Madagascar franchise. These are characters that I enjoyed watching in the first movie, so I was down with this happening, especially since they do have their own TV show that is apparently well-liked. In this movie, the penguins decide to separate themselves from the Antarctica penguins and do their own thing. Pretty soon they form this secret agent group where they try to fight crime so to say. But despite all the talk, they are actually pretty bad at this job, which is funny because they end up combining forces with this professional group of secret agents that actually do know what they are doing. This leads to a movie that is just stuffed full of all sorts of gags throughout the movie that you would expect from the penguins.

Here's the problem. And it's very simple. This movie wasn't funny. At all. The purpose of this was to be a fun comedy and when you are trying to be a fun comedy, the number one rule is that you need to actually make people laugh. And I was waiting. I've loved these penguins. A lot of the gags in the first movie worked rather well and I was excited to see this gag-filled movie that I thought I was going to be laughing hysterically at. I chuckled a few times. But I didn't laugh. There literally wasn't a single moment in the entire movie where I busted out laughing. A few polite chuckles was it for me. Instead of laughing, I watched as gag after gag and joke after joke just completely missed the mark and pretty soon into this movie they got really dumb. And they kept getting dumber. Halfway through the movie all my patience with the movie was completely gone. I was waiting for the movie to turn around and do something respectable or funny, but it never happened. And to make matters worse, the end of the movie was almost an exact copy and paste of Despicable Me 2. Like almost to the "t." It's like Dreamworks watched that movie, saw how much money they made, and because they were desperate they said to themselves, "Hey let's make a movie that is the exact same thing as this movie, except with penguins instead of minions. Maybe that will finally be the trick that gets us out of this financial hole that we're in because our movies keep flopping." I'm serious. That's how I think this movie happened. The kids won't catch it. But I did.

I really don't have much more to say about this movie. It was a comedy that was supposed to make me laugh and all I did was chuckle politely a few times. Instead of laughing, I was just bored to tears and the theater started to feel like a prison because it just got worse and worse. Now in all fairness, this is a movie that was made for kids and there is a very good chance that the kids will love this. So if you are a parent with small kids who loved all three of the Madagascar movies and maybe even enjoy the TV show with the penguins, then this is probably a movie that you should take your kids to or buy when it comes to DVD to add it to your collection. Because of this, most will read this review and just brush my opinion to the side because "this movie just wasn't made for you." My retort is that I do think that you can make an animated movie that is good for kids AND adults. In fact, Dreamworks has done this many times. This is just one of those instances where it didn't work for me. This is a kids only movie in my opinion and it really disappointments me when one of the major animated studios gives a big nationwide release that is kids only because I like enjoying these, too. This one I thought was boring and stupid. My grade for Penguins of Madagascar is a 5/10.

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