July 10, 2016
The Ice Age franchise produced by Blue Sky Studios began in 2002 with the film "Ice Age" which introduced us to a gang of prehistoric mammals friends during the Paleolithic Ice Age. They were a talkative sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), a cautious mammoth named Manny (Ray Romano) and a smart saber-toothed tiger named Diego (Denis Leary). Since then, there had been three more films in 2006 ("The Meltdown"), 2009 ("Dawn of the Dinosaurs") and 2012 ("Continental Drift"). I was surprised that there was actually a fifth sequel this year, this time subtitled "Collision Course".
Scrat the squirrel was still in hot pursuit of his elusive acorn but this time the absurdity of the situation went too far. Unbeknownst to Scrat, the acorn was stuck to the steering wheel of a space ship. Scrat's desperate pulling of the acorn actually launches the flying saucer into outer space causing various cosmic accidents that sent an asteroid hurtling towards Earth.
Meanwhile, Manny and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are trying to deal with their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), who was already thinking of marrying her beau Julian (Adam DeVine). When the threat of the falling asteroid becomes apparent, the three friends and their families, along with the renegade weasel Buck (Simon Pegg) and the beautiful sloth Brooke (Jessie J), a new acquaintance from the enchanted crystal land of eternal youth Geotropia, quickly try to figure out a way to reverse the cataclysmic event in order to avert the end of the world.
With the fourth installment, I was already feeling that each subsequent film was stretching the franchise too long already. I confirmed this feeling while I was watching this new episode. Yes, the wacky interactive comedy from the original characters we know well are still there and were still the best parts. However, I felt that quite a number of the new characters and their jokes did not entirely fly.
I thought the Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) turned to be a dud. He was not funny. He did not even look like a llama at all because of his curved horns like a ram. Those scenes where Buck was cradling and talking to a pumpkin as if it were a baby were very corny. The characterization of Julian was not too well done. I was not sure if he was really inept or trying hard to be cool. That family of ugly dino birds were supposed to be the antagonists, but their odd look made them seem out of place. The presence of a spacecraft in this movie about the Paleolithic age was even more out of place.
Overall, this movie was okay for a family bonding activity for a lazy rainy afternoon. However, it cannot be denied that this franchise is already showing signs of fatigue. The new elements they have introduced could not reinvigorate the freshness of the original concept that has now gone stale over the years. This one could have simply gone straight to home video and it would not have been that great of a loss. 5/10.