My opinion right after watching film
My opinion right after watching the film is…….it is not good……but it is not as horrendous as I thought it was. I like how they made one of the penguins the baby, and gave him more focus, and they attempted to give the film heart, but it seems like it is one of those 1920s shorts with little plot, and a lot of filler and meaningless pacing.
Apparently DreamWorks planned to make a film off of the penguins since 2005, but they decided t make it a direct to DVD feature instead, and for it to be released in 2009. That did not go anywhere, and they announced to the public in 2011 that there will be a theatrical release to the film that we know today. In 2012, it was given a release date of March 2015, but they pushed it up a few months ago to late 2014.
So the film starts in Antarctica, where there is an unhatched egg that rolls to a penguin herd. There are 3 little penguins, named Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), and Rico (Conrad Vernon), who are unimpressed with the boring penguin lifestyle, and the other penguins are careless about the egg going past them, since it is nature for some of them to die, causing the three to reject nature. They leave the herd to catch the egg, which lands on a ship. The nature documentary crew shoves the penguins to the ship (for some drama), and saves the egg from a leopard seal. The egg hatches to be the 4th and final penguin of their crew; Private (Christopher Knights).
It is revealed that the events of the third Madagascar movie took place 10 years after the introduction scene, and the end of the third movie is also Private`s 10th birthday. They break into Fort Knox, so they can raid a vending machine, and they ignore that Private`s wish is for him to become a more valuable member of the team. The “machine” kidnaps Private and the other penguins, where we are soon revealed the antagonist. The machine is taken to Venice, Italy, and the antagonist is revealed to be an Octopus (disguised as a human) named Dave.
The penguins escape the Octopus`possession and his lair, and roam through Venice to make sure that he does not catch up. Soon enough, the penguins are rescued by a n undercover task force called North Wind, which consists of a wolf called Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), a seal named Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), a polar bear named Corporal (Peter Stormare), and an own named Eva (Annet Mahendru), and right as the wolf tries to explain who they are/what they do, an penguin keeps on eating a cheesy, which is supposed to be funny, but it gets old fast. Typical DreamWorks style, especially because in this film, the comic reliefs are promoted to mains. They are supposed to help the hopeless animals they need (thinking the penguins are DIDs), and they have been tracking Dave for a while. Classified wants the penguins to tell them everything they know regarding to Dave, and the penguins cannot even accomplish that, without trying to be funny. The North Wind knows that Dave has a Medusa serum, which Rico throws up, since he stole it from them.
The North Wind is irritated with the penguins, and sends them to the nearest remote base (which is Madagascar), since they are too incompetent to help, though the penguins want to help take him down. Classified tranquilizes them, so he can put them on a plane, only for the penguins to wake up mid flight, and to escape the plane. The penguins land in Rio de Janero, Brazil (how in the hell is that on the way to Madagascar?), and they see on the news that penguins from all over the world start to go missing, and they somehow find out that Dave is going to Shanghai. While they create a plan for this to work, Private feels unimportant, since his only part in the plan is to look cute in a disguise.
The penguins eventually catches him, but the North Wind tracks Dave down, only to see this. The North Wind feels like they ruined things, and as they argue with the penguins, Dave manages to escape. They take the North Wind`s jet (to try to follow Dave`s submarine), but they screw that up, and the jet ends up blowing up. The penguins and North Wind are on a raft, but they are able to track Dave down with a homing device.
He shows the penguins that he is not going to kill them, but something much worse. He is going to use a ray to shoot the Medusa serum to turn them all into disfigured, mentally, and physically deformed monsters, causing them to be loathed, and not loved by the people. I have to say that this goal kind of makes sense, and he demonstrates this on a grasshopper.
The penguins and North Wind arrives to the remote island, and Classified and Skipper argue over what is the best plan to save Private and the other penguins, though as Classified uses a bunch of technology to explain his plans, Skipper realizes that their way of doing things is not going to work, and that they should leave it to the professionals, which the other 2 penguins are shocked by. When it comes to putting the plan into action, the North Wind`s plan quickly fails, and all of them are captured by Dave. He uses Private for the first penguin to be hit with the Medusa serum, with the other penguins telling Dave that it is all he has to him, which annoys Private.
You know what? I wrote a bunch about the climax of the film, and it did not save, I do not feel like rewatching the last 20 minutes to type that long dialogue again, so I will give you the jist of what you need to know. The serum is shot on all of the penguins, they are released to be repulsed by the humans, Private reunites with his team, the North Wind destroys the headquarters, the penguins realize that to reverse the serum is to put something of cuteness, which Private sacrifices himself for. After a long battle, and technological issues, a cheeto hits the button, causing Dave to be defeated. Dave is minimized and put into a snow globe (which a girl takes), and Private is pink, and has antlers as a side effect. North Wind gives them jet packs to make it up to them, and the penguins fly around.
I am…..not really a fan of the characters, and it is hard for me to remember many of them, so I am going to group them up.
The animation is just as good as the other three Madagascar films (and I actually got a good quality video to see it), though it is not as fast paced. When they do all of the technological scenes, it makes the film look so much more sophisticated than the other films, but it makes sense, since we are not in zoos, and this is a different type of film than the others. While I wish the locations were more memorable, I am impressed.
The music is the typical spy adventure music you would see in the film. There are no songs in this film, an the score does give off the sense of adventure really well, though it is definitely not the first thing that is on your mind.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on November 26th, 2014, it made $59,684,051 domestically, and $116,000,000 internationally, for a total amount of $175,684,051. I predict that it will most likely make more money than Big Hero 6 (which is at a slow start), though I would not be shocked at all if it doe snot hit $500 million.
Critically, it received positive…..(more like mixed to positive) reviews, with many people liking the humor, the animation, and the fast pace, while some others tore this film apart for it’s crappy story, and lack of character development.
So far, it has not been nominated for any awards.
= 28/40 = 70%