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lupercal's Review of Ice Age: Continental Drift

rated it: posted: Dec 15, 2014
Reviews: 517 | KF Animation Editor
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Ice Age is the franchise that just keeps on giving; or the one that doesn't know when to quit, depending on your point of view.

I've been a bit of an apologist for the quirky, surprise hit series from the company which sounds like it was named after a designer drug. The original was a huge hit in Australia, and I actually thought #2 was an improvement, but I expressed qualms after #3: the cast was just getting bigger and bigger and it was hard to see where they were going to go from there.

It's even harder to see now, and the cast of an Ice Age 5 is going to be colossal, with a female white saber tooth added (Diego has a girlfriend), the near inevitability that Manny will become a grandfather ( unless - and this appeals to me - Peaches decides to reward Louis' unrequited love. I mean, why not? She and her mother are already inter-species torch-carriers), and the distinct feeling that Sid's grandmother isn't going away.

None of the series are bad movies, and this tenth anniversary edition starts off quite strongly, with some nice scenery, the introduction of the mildly appealing character Louis, voiced by Josh Gad, who has a major crush on Peaches (who, ironically, could majorly crush him). She meanwhile is getting all hormonal over a Mastadon Fonz. Meanwhile the movie serves notice almost immediately that any vestiges of historical credibility are forthwith jettisoned. After all, as Sid notes, they fought dinosaurs on the ice in the last episode, so it's not like it was a high priority to start with.

Not that I mind. Anyone who seriously nitpicks over that theme would have to be a cast member of 'Big Bang Theory' (or maybe someone who thinks its funny). The problems for 'Continental Drift' are that after a decent start it just seems to lose steam, and the introduction of a villainous bunch of pirates (at least their leader, an ape who just HAS to have been modelled after Ron Perlman, is villainous. The rest, with the exception of that she-tiger I mentioned, are ninnies) somehow just doesn't work. The whole Pirates of the Caribbean bit doesn't really work - though maybe it's just me. It doesn't seem to me that the movie really needs a conventional villain, though. The quest to become re-united with Ellie and Peaches would have been a sufficient replacement for one (our heroes are cut off from them and the rest of the animals when things get all seismic and they drift off on an Iceberg).

There are still fun moments, and it's probably about as good as its predecessor, but the plot just seems a bit desperate, nothing elevates it ABOVE pretty good, and the addition of Jennifer Lopez as Shira just seems contrived and formulaic. And I was serious about the cast just getting too big for its own good. Remember when it was just the three of them, and Scrat?

This instalment will probably please fans though, without recruiting new ones. And there's only so long you can keep that up til your original fan base dwindles to DTV size.

Maybe next time they move in next to Manny's parents, forget the historical bit altogether and Elly spends the rest of the franchise making him miserable because his mom criticises her cooking. I'm just throwing ideas out here.

animated movie Ice Age: Continental Drift © Fox / Blue Sky
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Ice Age: Continental Drift
2.25 stars / 2 ratings
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