Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DVD Review: Ice Age: Continental Drift

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Directed by: Steve Martino & Mike Thurmeier.
Written by: Michael Berg & Jason Fuchs.
Starring: Ray Romano (Manny), Denis Leary (Diego), John Leguizamo (Sid), Queen Latifah (Ellie), Jennifer Lopez (Shira), Wanda Sykes (Granny)Keke Palmer (Peaches), Nicki Minaj (Steffie), Peter Dinklage (Captain Gutt), Drake (Ethan), Josh Gad (Louis), Aziz Ansari (Squint), Joy Behar (Eunice), Nick Frost (Flynn), Heather Morris (Katie), Kunal Nayyar (Gupta), Josh Peck (, Eddie), Simon Pegg (Buck), Seann William Scott (Crash), Patrick Stewart (Ariscratle), Alan Tudyk (Milton / Hunky Siren), Chris Wedge (Scrat), Rebel Wilson (Raz).

I was surprised to learn that I had never seen Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. I discovered this fact while looking for my review of the film to see if I had such a low opinion of that film as I did of Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. You see, movies like this all start to drift together at some point – apparently to such a degree that I didn’t even realize that I had only seen two Ice Age films before, and not three. Judging on the box office returns of this film, there will eventually be an Ice Age 5 – and perhaps I should follow the lead of my 2009 self, who skipped Ice Age 3, and not my 2012 self, who watched Ice Age 4. Mind you, by then my daughter (who is only 16 months old right now) will probably be of an age where watching these films is no longer a choice for me – but an obligation.

The story involves our three lovable heroes – Manny the Mammoth, voiced by Ray Romano, a constant worrier. Sid the Sloth, voiced by John Leguizamo, who is sweet but clueless. And Diego the Saber Tooth Tiger, voiced by Denis Leary, who puts up with the idiots around him, because his icy heart has been melted by them. In the opening sequence, we see Scrat once again trying very hard to get his hands on an acorn – which has the unlikely side effect of causing the Earth’s one land mass to break apart, and start drifting to wear they are today. Never mind that that happened a hell of long time before these creatures existed, and probably didn’t happen in a matter of seconds like it seems to here. That type of thing really isn’t what Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is about.

That’s because Ice Age 4 is all about rapid movement, lots of action sequences, bright colors and characters and everything else hurling at the screen almost constantly – because of course, in the theaters this movie was in 3-D, and you got give the audience their money’s worth of crap flying at the screen. Watching it  at home, this just looks pathetic.

I’m sure little kids will love Ice Age 4. There is nothing complicated about the movie at all, and it never slows down for a second. The film is full of chases and action sequences – many involving a band of animal pirates who constantly get in the way of Manny and his friends attempts to reunite with their family, after the continent split up. The jokes come at you fast and furious when the action isn’t, but they’re aimed at kids, with none of the knowing nods, winks or in-jokes direct at the kids parents.

The film was, for me, a chore to sit through. Like the recent Madagascar 3, this film foregoes any attempt at plot or character, and just throws one “visual extravaganza” at you after another. And nothing is more boring to me than constant movement.

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