After the adventure on Madagascar, zoo animals Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and a small group of militaristic penguins have fixed the crashed plane and are readying to fly back home. Also joined by unhinged lemur King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), they crash again in Africa after running out of fuel, and eventually find themselves at a watering hole, where they are overjoyed to discover more of their own species. Alex also reunites with his mother (Sherri Shepherd) and father Zuma (Bernie Mac), with the latter the alpha of his herd. While the others are each given roles in their animal society, Alex must prove himself to be worthy of his position of heir and title of 'King of New York', while fellow lion Makunga (Alec Baldwin) waits eagerly to take control.
It's a very similar route taken by Ice Age and their increasingly tedious sequels. When the big idea has been used up, simply introduce a long-lost family member and give the comic relief side-kicks their own meandering side-stories. Melman, due to his hypochondria, becomes the village's witch-doctor; Marty struggles to stand out in a herd that looks and talks in the exact same way as he does; and Gloria is courted by a douchebag while she misses the true love right in front of her eyes. The only relief on offer is when the penguins are on screen, and their extreme competency with any given task and frequent bashing of an annoying old lady never fails to raise a chuckle. When they're not the focus, we are stuck with the incredibly uninteresting Alex and a bunch of generic life lessons for the kids watching. If you were content with the little charm of the first Madagascar, then chances are you'll find something to like her. For the rest of us, this is a slow trudge through familiar ground chocked full with broad slapstick prat-falls.
Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Voices: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin