Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Rated 2.0

Alex the former zoo lion (voice by Ben Stiller) and his three pals (Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer) try to fly back to New York from Madagascar, but those pesky penguins interfere again, landing them on a wildlife preserve where Alex is reunited with his long-lost parents (Bernie Mac, Sherri Shepherd). Fans of the 2005 original will find this sequel more of the same. So will the original’s detractors—it was lousy then and it’s lousy now. Directors Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath have done what just they did before, building a fake story around their celebrity voices rather than making a real story and finding the right voices to fit. Etan Cohen’s script hijacks elements of The Lion King, giving this effort a pinch more plot than the first (albeit one ripped off from a better movie).