Ice Age: Continental Drift – 3D Movie ReviewJuly 16, 2012
I don’t know about you, but Blue Sky is perhaps my least favorite of all the major animation studios working for Hollywood today. Sure, they may have released a couple of good films here and there and their films usually have visual splendor, but otherwise their humor has always been sort of forced. On top of that, I have never though that their stories were all that emotionally resonant or deep for that matter. For another thing, they are perhaps both well-known and infamous for their Ice Age franchise; at first the franchise was funny and interesting, but at this point the films are just annoying and feel like cash grabs. With that said, was the fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, necessary at all?
Once again, the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat (Chris Wedge) is up to his usual, “nutty” antics. This time, when he tries to wedge an acorn he possesses into the ground, he accidentally causes a gigantic fissure to split open a mountain beneath him, and after he falls miles down to the earth’s core a series of unfortunate events occur that lead to the breaking up of the supercontinent Pangaea. Meanwhile, the mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) along with his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), the saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary), and the sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) are dealing with his own problems.
Sid is facing problems with his family who once again disowns him after forcing him to take care of his eccentric Granny (Wanda Sykes). Along with that, Manny and Ellie struggle to cope with their now teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) as a love triangle begins to develop between herself, an attractive and suitably popular mammoth named Ethan (Drake), along with a socially-awkward molehog named Louis (Josh Gad) that also happens to be Peach’s best friend. The continental crack-up, so to speak, then separates Manny and crew from the rest of the herd as they drift into the ocean on an enormous block of ice, also leaving a dispute between Manny and Peaches unresolved. Manny then vows in his stubbornness to return to his family, despite dangers such as sea storms and a band of pirates…
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the first two Ice Age films. Sure, they’re not the best animated films out there, but at least they have enough depth and humor to appeal to more mature audiences such as myself. However, I think that most you will agree that the Ice Age franchise reached a point where it needs to stop when Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released. That was three years ago, Fox! Get a clue, nobody really wants these movies anymore. History has shown that franchises including Superman, Shrek, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean got a fourth movie that nobody wanted, and then it turned into something that absolutely sucked. This is the case with Ice Age: Continental Drift, because clearly it’s a cash grab, and it shows for about 98% of the film.
The reason why I didn’t say 100% is because there are some entertaining scenes here and there; in fact, nearly all of the film’s decent comedic set pieces involve Scrat, and unfortunately half of them were already used as trailers back in 2011. Otherwise, the lazily written script of just makes Ice Age 4 feel dull, uninspired, and forced. I can imagine that some executive from Fox approached the screenwriters and said, “Here’s a $1 million check; just come up with something that will get kids in the theatres.” Even then, it’s said that the script didn’t really impress the many kids at the showing I went to on Saturday. I chuckled a couple of times throughout, but other than that the humor fell flat in places that should have been hysterical. Other than that, the writing team threw in a bunch of different story arcs to try to push the movie along, and they make a film that should have been short drag on (yes, even in a short animated movie like this one).
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