Latest Ice Age Offers Up More of the Same
After he unearths an otherworldly prophecy deep within the bowels of the Earth, adventurer Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg) leaves the lost underground world of the dinosaurs to warn his friends Manny (Ray Romano), his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), her fiancé Julian (Adam Devine) and best buddies Diego (Denis Leary), Shira (Jennifer Lopez), Granny (Wanda Sykes), Crash (Seann William Scott), Eddie (Josh Peck) and Sid (John Leguizamo) of an impending disaster. A meteorite is hurtling towards the planet, and if it strikes it will wipe out almost all life living upon it. It’s up to them to come up with a solution, the entire group walking once again into harm’s way in order to see their close-knit interspecies family survives yet another calamity.
And thus begins the saga of Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth animated adventure featuring this ragtag group of family-friendly characters, this collection of mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, sloths and other various mammals proving to have an enduring allure for a number of viewers the entire world over. Scrat’s (Chris Wedge) back as well, of course, still chasing acorns, this time going to positively interstellar lengths in order to possess even just one of them. It’s all a bit of exceedingly familiar freewheeling craziness where Manny and company learn a number of life lessons as they continue to forge unbreakable bonds of togetherness, and as such there’s precious little to get annoyed or upset about as things move along their well-trodden path.
Yawn. While a decided step above the group’s last outing, 2012’s risibly annoying Ice Age: Continental Drift, that doesn’t make watching this newest entry in the series any more palatable for viewers over the age of six or seven. It’s animated television fodder, nothing more, content to poke around in its own nonchalant inoffensive way not really caring whether or not the impact it ends up making upon the viewer is anything substantial. The sequel speaks in generalizations and platitudes, moving with the momentum of a slug in a race to the finish line with a one-legged tortoise, and as such I kind of hoped that meteor would hit its target making further adventures impossible.
There are a few nice moments, not the least of which is the reintroduction of wild card Buck, a musical sequence showcasing him saving a triceratops egg from a crew of flighty predators whimsically imaginative. But the movie is so gosh darn intent at keeping the momentum moving at a breakneck pace there’s never the possibility characters are going to evolve more than they already have or situations will become even minutely more complex. Even the Scrat moments, usually the best little asides these Ice Age movies have to offer up, feel tired, moderately rundown this time out, the shenanigans involving him and his acorn just not near as humorous as they have been in the past.
Not that I care. Ice Age: Collision Course was not made for me. Heck, I’d hazard a guess they’re not made for domestic audiences, either, a large portion of the box office for the past couple of adventures coming from outside the United States. This is a franchise that exists more because of its international popularity than it does for anything else, Manny and his family and friends continuing to survive in large parts thanks to that and that alone. Which is fine, I guess, and little kids continue to find these films relatively enjoyable. For me, though, I’m just about done giving them a chance, and the next time this gaggle of crazy critters ambles back on-screen I think I’ll choose to stay home.
Review reprinted courtesy of the SGN in Seattle
Film Rating: 2 (out of 4)