A Kiddie Collision of Fun and Blandness

ice age 5

Sequels, sequels, sequels! It seems that the only thing that Hollywood wants to make is a sequel these days, at least in the animation world. And what franchise is a better example of this than Ice Age. Years ago, the idiotic animal cast warmed our hearts with an adventure that was fun, funny, and cute. Over a decade later, the adventure still continues, but it has now crossed over into the ridiculous zone (especially with the last movie Continental Drift). Nevertheless, we have the fifth installment dropped onto our laps and yours truly is back into the theater to give you some insight. Let’s get started.

 

The GOOD

  • Same cute feeling to it
  • Voice Acting is just as good as always
  • Science behind the magic
  • Return of Buck

 

No surprise, Ice Age remains cute to appeal to the target audience of families. Manny (Ray Romano) and his crew continue to stumble, bash, and insult each other in a manner that is kid friendly and semi-entertaining. Your little ones will be laughing in high-pitched delight as Sid is smacked, Scrat is consistently punished, and insults fly through the air in some ridiculous screaming manner. Yep despite the new gags, it certainly feels like an Ice Age Movie. And when the comedy dries down to a trickle, there are those touching moments, well there are those heart warming, morale filled sequences that will make you say Awwwww.

While the dialogue and storyboard have certainly set the groundwork for the silliness, it is the voice acting that brings it to life. For this reviewer, John Leguizamo (Sid) was my leading voice as he delivers consistently stupidity and forlorn through the movie. Ray Romano’s sarcasm and timing help support this, but Manny’s role has been reduced ever since the birth of his daughter. As for the rest of the cast, well they do their parts justice, despite the limited characters they play, but not enough to call props on (more on that later).

The exception to this is Neil deGrasse Tyson (Buck). Once more Tyson brings energy, whit and well-timed delivery that we loved in the third installment. Buck is just as chaotic as you remember, which often leads to action and genius wrapping into a product that continues to be impressive. And in this installment, Buck brings a lot of scientific principal, some realistic and others purely a stretch of imagination, that can at least stimulate some thoughts. It’s an engaging character one I hope to see in the inevitable sequel to come.

 

The BAD:

  • The characters are not balanced
  • Crossed into the kiddie zone way too much
  • Rushed story with pointless bad guys

 

The biggest thing I had an issue with, was how disproportionate the characters were in this movie. It’s no surprise that as the cast continues to expand, there is less time for each character to make a worthy contribution. Ice Age has officially hit that road focussing again on the Mammoths and Scrat and forgoing most of the other characters. Sure Sid and Buck get their fair share, but the other characters are reduced to only a few lines of dialogue and nothing more (I’m talking about your character Jennifer Lopez). Such unbalanced character emphasis is a flaw for me and like many of the characters we need to move on from them rather than pointlessly include them.

As mentioned earlier, the movie is family fun, but each installment continues to go deeper into the kiddie pool. Crash and Eddy have been reduced to very stupid humor that involves mindless banter and getting into fights. Manny’s filter has been set to full power as his adult jokes have been reduced to just straight up bitterness. Even Sid has managed to dumb down his comedy so that is kid friendly. Wanda Sykes’ edge that we got in the fourth film had flare and sassiness, but they limited that role so much in this installment. Therefore, the adult spectacle of the first Ice Age continues to be lost with each continued sequel.

Finally, we address the villains of the movie. The new cast members in the film have great voice work, when they are actually on the screen. However, the raptor birds of this movie have little danger, edge, or even threat compared to the natural disaster careening towards Earth. In the first few movies, the villains that were hunting our crew had bite, edge, and terror. These villains were just sad, and another medium for comedic ploys. Throw in a rather rushed and blunt tale with a hastily concluded ending and you only get further lack of suspense.

 

The VERDICT

 

Ice Age: Collision Course is certainly continuing the trend we’ve seen in the series. While it is certainly kiddie, it is still somewhat entertaining and funny, and not the worst of the five movies. However, it still is not anything like the first Ice Age and the studio should think about dropping it to Netflix for the future instead of polling it in theaters. Therefore you can guess it probably isn’t worth a trip to the theater, and certainly not in 3-D.

 

As a result, my scores are:

 

Animation/Adventure/Comedy: 6.5-7.0

Movie Overall: 5.5-6.0 

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