Review: Penguins Of Madagascar (2014)


Spun-off from DreamWorks Animation’s money-making Madagascar franchise, Penguins Of Madagascar is a fast-paced, pun-a-minute riot, even if it lacks any semblance of depth. Anarchic super spies Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Private (Christopher Knights) and Rico (Conrad Vernon) are forced to team up with The North Wind, an undercover task force, to defeat the dastardly Dr. Octavious Brine (John Malkovich). Jam-packed to the hilts with inspired pop culture references (“Robin, Wright this down”) and madcap ruses, the film hurtles past at breakneck speed. There’s not so much of a narrative and, aside from a masterful prologue in which Werner Herzog lends his vocals as a documentary narrator, the penguins are as fleshed out as they were in the Madagascar films. But the sheer fun of all the gags and high-flying set pieces, combined with enthusiastic vocals (Benedict Cumberbatch crops up as the leader of North Wind) from the entire cast, ensures that Penguins Of Madagascar is a solid, if fluky, spin-off.

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