Monday, 25 June 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift Movie Review

Ice Age: Continental Drift Movie Review

Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage, Wanda Sykes
Director: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier

Once more unto the Ice Age, my friends, once more.

In this fourth outing for Diego the Sabretooth tiger, Manny the Mammoth and Sid the Sloth, as well as Scrat, the acorn lover, the world is changing forever for our trio – both literally and metaphorically.

At the end of the last film, our trusty trio were settled with families and looking forward to a more quiet life.

That's all about to change in Ice Age: Continental Drift.

When Scrat’s continual pursuit of the acorn sees him causing massive seismic schisms of the landmasses, the splitting of the continents divides Manny from his wife and daughter. Marooned on an iceberg, Manny’s sole desire is to get back to the family at whatever cost.

However, this new quest for the trio turns into an adventure of the sea faring kind when their plans to get back to land force them into the path of the maniacal monkey Captain Gutt (Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) and his motley pirate crew of animals, fleeing the splitting of the continents.

Will Manny get back home?
Ice Age: Continental Drift is really a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it when it comes to the CGI film world.

The madness and zaniness of the series is still there and the children in the audience will certainly love the fast paced silliness of the story – as well as the antics of Sid the Sloth and that most memorable of animated animals, Scrat.

But this tale of the importance of family is really nothing new. 

At the end of the day, they’re all being forced to grow up in some form or other and learn a life lesson or two. Sid gains a grandma (voiced by Wanda Sykes) that none of the rest of the family want; Manny clashes with his young daughter Peaches because he’s over protective and she’s growing up and wants to hang with the cool kids; and all of them learn the lessons of being true to yourself.

This series has been phenomenally popular and I get the sense that really, the creators are loathe to let it go – but even the most cynical and hard hearted may be won over by the pure nuttiness of what’s on the screen at times and won't be bothered by the weak plot and episodic feel of the action.

Scrat’s antics alone serve as lunatic interludes to parts of the action – and he certainly gets a lot of laughs for doing very little and is a truly enduring cartoon character who has roots in the greatest Warner Bros cartoons. (I'm sure he'd use ACME to get that acorn if he could).

Elsewhere, the film belongs to Leguizamo’s Sid whose continual nonsensical outbursts bring the unexpected laughs. Plus some smart visual gags make it worth concentrating on.

Referencing the Last of The Mohicans, Homer’s Odyssey. Braveheart, Pirates of the Caribbean and Atlantis to name but a few, Ice Age Continental Drift certainly covers the gamut of cultural references as it goes through its paces.

A lot of new characters and creatures emerge in this latest outing, which is formulaic at times and which occasionally feels a little cluttered with a lot of action unspooling in the first 10 minutes alone – it can be hard to keep up with this icy entourage but the kids (who it’s really aimed at) will love it for its zaniness and won’t care about the relatively thin plot.

Oh, and make sure you get there early to enjoy the wee Simpsons short starring Maggie Simpson, The Longest Daycare which packs in emotion and clever creativity as we get another insight into the rivalry between Maggie and Baby Gerald...


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