This past weekend, the Wife and I took our son, henceforth to be called the Kid, on his first movie going experience. With him being only seven weeks old, we decided that a trip to the Skyview Drive-In over in Belleville made the most logical sense. So, we packed up some snacks and drove across the river for a double feature: Brave and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.
First up, Pixar’s thirteenth feature length film Brave. Brave tells the story of a Scottish princess, Merida (Kelly MacDonald), who is to be wed against her will to one of the other three tribes’ first born sons. She decides to go against her mother, Elinor (Emma Thompson) and father Fergus (Billy Connolly), as she interferes at the games for her hand. This puts the kingdom in an uproar. Merida slips out of the castle into the woods, where she follows magical blue flames, or whisps. They lead her to a witch that gives her a potion to change her mother’s mind. Of course, this does not go according to plan, and Merida is left trying to unravel a riddle before time runs out.
Brave is a disappointing film from Pixar. Had any other animation studio put this out, I would have thought it was better. But this is Pixar. The team behind Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Up. Brave offered nothing new or exciting and was not up to snuff. In the end, it boiled down to a weak villain and the mom turning into a bear. Better luck next year, Pixar.
Next up, the third film in the Madagascar franchise. I watched the first one a few years back, and was not impressed. I did not bother with the second one Escape 2 Africa, but since I was at the drive-in, I stayed for part three, Europe’s Most Wanted. I should have just gone home.
Madagascar 3 picks up where the part two left off, I assume. The penguins and monkeys left for Monte Carlo on a reconstructed plane. So, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), and company go to France to get them. They find the penguins as they are winning lots of money at a casino. After the extraction attempt goes haywire, an animal control officer (Frances McDormand) goes in pursuit of the group of escaped zoo animals.
After thirty minutes of random chase scenes, I have no idea what is going on, or the overall plot of the film. My sister-in-law, her boyfriend, the Wife and I are just plain confused. More and more random scenes and songs being covered and butchered by the cast, and finally, the animals meet up with a circus bound for America. The circus animals are lead by a tiger names Vitaly (Bryan Cranston). Also in the mix are a leopard Gis (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano (Martin Short) a seal. I blinked, and the zoo animals bought the circus with the penguins casino money to ensure their trip home to New York.
I am not joking, this movie made little to no sense to me. A lot of the other patrons got in their cars and left. We stayed. The Kind was asleep, and who wants to wake a sleeping 7 week old? We suffered through the rest of the 93 minute film, only to be more confused by the ending. If there is a fourth, I will be passing for sure.
As a whole, neither film was great. Brave was a letdown, but way better than Madagascar 3. Yet, I cannot stress to you how much fun it was to go to the drive-in. If you have kids, take them. It is cheap, and you can bring your own snacks and beverages. Shows start at 9pm, get there early for a good spot. It was sold out the night we went. Here is a link to their website. Again, I highly recommend taking your little ones, so they can experience a real drive-in movie theater.
MADAGASCAR 3: 3/10