Island of Lemurs: Madagascar Movie Review
It's hard to mess up a nature documentary, but that's what Warner Bros. has done with the 3D IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.
The 40-minute doc takes the audience to Madagascar (duh!), the only place in the world where lemurs live in the wild. There, director David Douglas mixes in footage of the adorable creatures with interviews with Dr. Patricia Wright, who has devoted much of her life to helping the animals.
On its own, Island of Lemurs is easy enough to watch. You could find many worse ways to spend 40 minutes. The lemurs are cute and do cute things, and if YouTube has proven anything, it's that people love to watch cute creatures do cute things.
But compared to other nature documentaries I've seen (Chimpanzee comes ot mind), Island of Lemurs just doesn't have much going for it. The movie lacks cohesion. Douglas shifts from showcasing one type of lemur to the next without developing much of a story or narrative. The footage isn't all that exciting, and the various tunes the filmmakers apply to make the sequences more entertaining only go so far. The doc switches between narration by Morgan Freeman and that by Dr. Wright. It's awkward. And the film doesn't go very deep; the subject matter feels like it was made exclusively for elementary school kids.
The 3D also does the film a disservice. The footage lacks crispness at times, especially the scenery shots. In this day and age, every moment needs to be in high definition; Island of Lemurs falls just short.
Even at only 40 minutes in length, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar is too long. It lacks the lemur footage, substance and entertainment value to make it worthwhile. Even my mom, one of the nicest moviegoers in existence, agrees, and this movie was made for her.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.