Ice Age: Collision Course: Film Review
Vocal cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Adam Devine, Simon Pegg, Nick Offerman, Jennifer Lopez, Melissa Rauch, Queen Latifah
Director: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T Chu
There's a moment in the fifth Ice Age movie (yup, not a typo) where woolly mammoth Manny asks "Did I hit my head? What's happening here?".
It's a question that many will face in this latest instalment of the admittedly gorgeously animated tale of the three friends Sid, Manny and Diego (Leguizamo, Romano and Leary respectively).
This time around, the gang's facing extinction after an asteroid meteor is set on a collision course with Earth by Scrat who's up in space still trying to get that elusive acorn. (This time around, Scrat is a propeller of opportunistic plot, rather than a great lunatic aside). With Buck (a brilliant Simon Pegg) along for the ride, the group tries to work on a plan to prevent the inevitable happening and stop them all being wiped out.
But for Manny, there's more terrifying prospect - losing his daughter to perky newcomer Julian (Pitch Perfect and Modern Family star Adam Devine) who's about to marry her....
It's churlish to suggest Ice Age: Collision Course adheres to the law of diminishing returns because to be frank, with its silly puns and zany antics of both Scrat and Buck, there's lots for the younger kids to engage with and keep amused during the upcoming school holidays.
However, any semblance of logic or consistency of narrative's been abandoned this time around for ACME style silliness that defies belief and throws everything at the screen to service anyone who's ever been in previous Ice Age movies.
Despite some clever insertions and throwaway references to 2001, Cocoon and The Planet of The Apes denouement, as well as Neil de Grasse Tyson, Ice Age Collision Course jettisons any kind of smarts for a series of loosely connected moments.
Chief offender among these is Scrat, whose antics up until now, have proven fertile ground for interludes that have been separate to the movie's actual goings on. This time, with Scrat in space, firing around beams that rocket into planets like snooker cues, the charm wears quickly thin. That's not to say that his shenanigans aren't amusing, more that they don't really do much except perfunctorily propel the narrative.
Back on Earth isn't much better either, with far too many characters to be serviced and a narrative that's too cluttered by far. Poor Diego gets badly sidelined with little to except a piecemeal plot involving kids, and even Manny's plight and enforced message of accepting growing up feels a little weary and hoary as the film goes on.
It's perhaps a good sign though the Blue Sky animation work is excellent, with sequences feeling fresher than the plot they're servicing and CGI work that brings depth to all elements of Manny et al's world.
Ultimately, the kids may enjoy the more out there elements of the story of Ice Age Collision Course, and the film was clearly never going to fulfil its potential extinction storyline, but Ice Age Collision Course's story is severely lacking.
If this is the cinematic extinction of the gang, its exit, based on this entry alone, won't be mourned.