Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) – Movie Review

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the sequel to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Jada Pinkett Smith, Ben Stiller, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain in "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
Jada Pinkett Smith, Ben Stiller, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain in "Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted"

Alex awakes from his nightmare about them stranded in Africa and gotten old and suggests they should go to Monte Carlo to find the Penguins and fly them back to New York City.

In Monte Carlo, the Penguins and chimpanzees, Mason and Phil disguise as the King of Versailles and is winning in gambling until Alex and gang crashes the casino after Gloria’s weight proves to be too much for their “Mission Impossible” attempt to reach the Penguins.

As a result, the hotel security calls Animal Control officer Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) to catch the animals. Instead of catching the animals, DuBois wants their heads to hang on her office’s wall. Thereafter, a high-speed chase between DuBois and the animals ensue, just like a James Bond’s movie. Although in the end, Alex and gang manage to escape from DuBois, their plane crashes into the train yard.

In order to escape from the authorities, the four claim they are circus animals to convince Vitaly the Tiger (Bryan Cranston), Stefano the sea lion (Martin Short) and Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain) to let them into their train. Before the gang is further questioned, the Penguins use the money win from the casino to purchase the circus themselves.

The zoo animals learn from Stefano that they are performing in Rome and London, where they plan to impress a promoter to get them on an American tour. But, after learning the circus fails to perform in Rome, Alex convinces the circus animals to perform Cirque du Soleil in order to win the heart of the American promoter. As they train together, the zoo animals and the circus animals become closer.

In London, Alex convinces Vitaly to stay when he is about to leave. Vitaly’s stunt is done perfectly after Alex suggested him to use conditioner shampoo. When the promoter is impressed and gave the troupe the contract to America, Alex confesses that he and his friends just want get home to New York City, disappointing the circus animals.

Alex and his friends returns to Central Park Zoo only to be captured by DuBois, only to be confiscated by the zoo staff. Despite being darted, Julien manages to reach the circus to inform them of DuBois. The circus gang arrives just in time to stop DuBois from killing Alex. In the end, Alex and friends decide to join the circus on a permanent basis while DuBois and her men finds themselves on a cargo box bound for Madagascar.

Overall, Madagascar 3 is a colorful, funny and fun-filled family entertainment that will satiate both kids and adults alike.

  • 7 out of 10
  • Fun-filled film for all. This is how Johnny English will look like if it is acted by animals.
  • No

Prometheus (2012) – Movie Review

Prometheus is a prequel to the Ridley Scott’s 1979 Sci-Fi horror film Alien.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Logan Marshall-Green in "Prometheus"
Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Logan Marshall-Green in "Prometheus"

In the distant past, a humanoid alien arrives on Earth and drinks a dark liquid. Its body broke apart and falls into a waterfall, planting the Earth with its DNA.

In 2089, archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her husband Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) unearth a star map which they interpret as an invitation from the makers of humanity or the "Engineers". Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), the aging founder of Weyland Corporation, funds the creation of the spacecraft Prometheus to the distant moon LV-223. Prometheus is captained by Janek (Idris Elba) and led by mission director Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). The ship’s crew travels for 2 years in stasis whilst the android David (Michael Fassbender) monitors them.

Prometheus arrives the destination in 2093 and a team is dispatched to explore a cave. The team finds several cylinders, the corpse of a giant alien and a monolithic statue of a humanoid head. David discreetly takes one of the cylinders with him. An approaching storm causes the crew to return to Prometheus promptly, leaving crew members Milburn (Rafe Spall) and Fified (Sean Harris) stranded in the cave.

Shaw analyses and discovers the Engineer’s DNA matches human’s DNA. At the same time, David intentionally infects Holloway with a dark liquid found from the cylinder. When Shaw and Holloway have sex, we all have a pretty good idea what’s going to happen next.

Fifield and Milburn are involved in an attack by translucent snake-like creatures. Milburn is killed when one of the creatures sneaks into his body and exits from his mouth while corrosive fluid from one of the creatures melts Fifield’s helmet. The crew returns when the storm subsides only to find Milburn’s corpse.

David who’s on his own, discovers a room containing an Engineer in stasis and a star map pointing to Earth. Holloway is rushed back to the ship when his infection becomes worse but Vickers refuses his entry and immolates him with a flamethrower at his own request. When Shaw discovers she is pregnant with an alien offspring, she uses an automated surgery table to cut it from her abdomen, thus surviving another ordeal.

Weyland is seen to have been in stasis on board and explains to Shaw he intends to prevent old age by asking the Engineers for a cure. From the mapping of the cave, Janek concludes that the cave-like structure is actually Engineer military spacecraft. Weyland and several crew members return to awake the Engineer. As David speaks to the Engineer, the humanoid alien responds by decapitating his head and killing Weyland and the rest. Shaw manages to escape once again surviving another tough ordeal as the Engineer activates the spaceship. David’s head informs Janek that the Engineer is heading to Earth to release the liquid on Earth, and thus Janek crashes Prometheus into the Engineer’s spacecraft. Shaw goes back to the remaining of Prometheus only to find the ‘Octopus-like’ alien offspring has grown to a gigantic alien. When the Engineer who survives the crash returns to attack Shaw, she releases the alien onto the Engineer and escapes yet again. At first the Engineer has the strength to withhold the alien but when it thrusts a tentacle down the Engineer’s throat, it instantly kills him.

Shaw picks up David’s head and his body and with his help with his body remaining separated, she launches another Engineer spaceship and heads towards the Engineers’ homeworld in order to find out the main reason why they created humanity and wanted to destroy it later.

An alien creature with jet-black skin and an elongated skull is seen bursts out of the Engineer’s chest.

Overall, Prometheus is made to tell the origin of Alien and is meant to be a bigger picture but despite that the storyline and the plot are mediocre, despite outstanding performance by Noomi Rapace’s Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s David.

  • 7 out of 10
  • The film is dark and solemn and despite the amazing landscape and background, the storytelling is poor and the actions are scarce, just like the barren land.
  • No

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) – Movie Review

Snow White and the Huntsman is an action fantasy film based on Snow White by Brothers Grimm starring Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth in "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth in "Snow White and the Huntsman"

Snow White (Kristen Stewart) is the daughter of King Magnus (Noah Huntley) whose kingdom is thriving until he is enchanted by the beauty of a woman named Ravenna (Charlize Theron) not knowing that she is the one who creates a fleet of phantom army as a bait to lure him and his army. Once back at the castle, King Magnus marries Ravenna and makes her his queen at once. Queen Ravenna uses her witch power to immobilize Magnus before stabbing him to death and brings her own army to conquer the castle. In the process, she locks up Snow White for many years until one day she learns from her Magic Mirror that she will be overthrown by Snow White, who will not only surpass her as the “fairest of them all”, but will also be her only salvation by consuming her heart to achieve immportality.

However, Snow White manages to escape into the Dark Forest, a place where the evil Queen’s power renders useless. Therefore, a Huntsman named Eric (Chris Hemsworth) is summoned to kill the Princess. However, when Eric learns that Snow White is a helpless damsel in distress, he decides to stand up and fight against the Queen and her army. Snow White, joined by her childhood friend Prince William, several dwarves and Duke Hammond’s (Vincent Regan) army marches towards the castle in an attempt to kill her stepmother Queen Ravenna and takes back the kingdom.

Despite being a strong adaption, the film has already failed at casting level by casting a pale Snow White in Kristen Stewart. The film is not only a pale drama with minimal action but it started on the wrong foot when even the magic mirror could not tell between fair and pale, thinking Kristen Stewart’s Snow White is the “fairest of them all”. Charlize Theron’s beauty is certainly of no comparison with Kristen Stewart’s anesthetized look. She does not have the glowing beauty of Snow White and certainly does not look like she could give life back to the dead land.

Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman is rather a disappointing representation of the highly popular fairy tale. With an unnecessarily length of storytelling and minimal actions, the film fairs miserably. In the end, the film is certainly not the fairest of them all compares to other films this summer.

  • 5 out of 10
  • A mediocre film which has little thrills but tons of excessive drama
  • No

Men in Black III (2012) – Movie Review

Men in Black III is the sequel to Men in Black II and the third installment of Men in Black with both Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprising their roles as Agent J and Agent K respectively.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Will Smith, Josh Brolin and Michael Stuhlbarg in "Men in Black III"
Will Smith, Josh Brolin and Michael Stuhlbarg in "Men in Black III"

With the help of his girlfriend Lily (Nicole Scherzinger), Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes from the Lunar Max prison facility on the Moon and reaches Earth in order to take revenge on K for his lost arm. Boris

The next day, Agent J (Will Smith) learns that Agent K is no longer at his apartment only to realize Agent K has been dead for over 40 years. When Agent O (Emma Thompson) decodes that J’s craving for chocolate milk is due to his headaches caused by a fracture in space-time continuum, J is convinced that Boris has acquired a time-jump device and traveled back to 1969 to kill K, resulting in an imminent invasion of Earth by Boris’ Boglodite species due to the absence of the ArcNet.

J obtains a time-jump device from Obadiah Prince (Lanny Flaherty) at the black market and travels back to July 15, 1969, a day before the incident between Boris and Agent K. In 1969, J tries to prevent a murder committed by Boris in Coney Island but failed and is arrested by a younger K (Josh Brolin) who takes him back to MIB facility and attempts to use a gigantic Neuralyzer on J before J convinces K at the very last second.

Agent J and Agent K work together and is joined by an alien named Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) who possesses the ArcNet, and helps them to oversee the set up of the shield to protect Earth from the Boglodite. When they arrive at Cape Canaveral, the place where Apollo 11 lunar rocket launch is occurring, they are arrested by the military police. However, when Griffin uses his precognitive power on the Colonel (Mike Colter), he not only allows them to carry the mission but personally assist them to ensure the agents are successful.

J and K are minutes away from attaching ArcNet onto the Apollo 11 only to be slowed down by both 1969 and modern-day Boris. In a battle with the 1969 Boris, K causes a fueling hose rupture which sprays liquid nitrogen on 1969 Boris’ arm instantly shatter it before he successfully plants the ArcNet on the rocket. While J manages to stop the modern-day Boris by avoiding his spikes after he uses the time-jump to travel back to the beginning of the fight.

The Colonel congratulates K and K invites him to join the agency while J watches from the distance. However, 1969 Boris emerges from the blast chamber and kills the Colonel. This time, K integrates Boris to kill him instantly. When a young boy named James (Cayen Martin) exits a military van near their location looking for his father, Agent K coaxes him away from the truth and neuralyzes him while taking care of him. From here, we learn that the young boy turns out to be J and the Colonel is J’s father.

Overall, Men in Black III is not too much about alien invasion but a comedy with light action. The film may not be perfect but it is certainly entertaining. Like how K says it, MIB 3 is slick.

  • 7 out of 10
  • A fun, light-hearted action comedy that is surely entertaining
  • No

Dark Shadows (2012) – Movie Review

Dark Shadows is a comedy fantasy film based on the popular 1966–1971 gothic soap opera of the same name.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows"
Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows"

Joshua Collins (Ivan Kaye) and Naomi Collins (Susanna Cappellaro) sail from Liverpool, England to North America in 1972 to start a fishing business in Collinsport, Maine. Their son, Barnabas (Johnny Depp) is a playboy and the master of Collinwood Manor.

When Barnabas breaks the heart of a witch, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), the witch then uses witchery to kill his parents and curses his family including his lovers. Josette (Bella Heathcote) is Barnabas’ last lover and she leaps to her death from a nearby cliff. Angelique then curses Barnabas to turn into a vampire before burying him alive in a chained-coffin.

200 year later, Barnabas is freed from his coffin by a group of construction workers, who then sucks their blood and killing them. Barnabas makes his way back to Collinwood Manor only to find the mansion in total ruin. The manor is occupied by Barnabas’ dysfunctional descendants led by the Collins family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer). Elizabeth has a rebellious daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Moretz) who likes to touch herself. David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) is Elizabeth’s 10-year-old nephew who claims he sees the ghost of Josette occasionally though no one believes him. That’s when Elizabeth hires Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), a psychiatrist to treat David.

Barnabas tries to rebuild the family fishing business when he learns the town is no longer under their control.

When Angelique discovers Barnabas’ escape, she plots to continue her avenging whilst tries to win him back. In the process, Angelique seduces Barnabas and they end up wrecking Angelique’s entire office in a tryst. After Barnabas tells Angelique he never loves her, Angelique once again locks up Barnabas in a coffin. She then creates a little accident in Collins factory to cause a fire which eventually burns down their fishing business.

In a fight between the witch Angelique and the Collins, we discovers Angelique has summoned a werewolf to turn Carolyn into a werewolf. But, the fight eventually ends when Josette’s ghost unleashes a powerful shriek which gives a huge blow to Angelique as she cracks like how a glass cracks.

Overall, Dark Shadows is gothic, entertaining and fun but that’s about it. Tim Burton’s idea to turn the classic soap opera into a comedy has its limit. Although the main cast excel in their acting, the storyline is somehow too weak and at times, characters like Helena Bonham Carter’s Dr. Julia Hoffman doesn’t fit into the film nor is necessary. Perhaps, this is one of the remakes that should be left in the dark shadows.

  • 6 out of 10
  • No doubt it’s fun and entertaining but even if you’re a fan of Tim Burton, you’ll still be disappointed at this flick
  • Not exactly mid-credits scene, but before the ending, Dr. Julia Hoffman is shown awaken as a vampire.