Ice Age: Collision Course

2016-07-08 10:53

What it's about:

The fifth installment in the Ice Age series finds Manny, Diego and the gang on a rush against time to prevent an asteroid from hitting the earth and wiping out life as they know it, as one did 100 000 000 years ago when (almost) all dinosaurs became extinct. 

What we thought:

It kind of says everything you need to know about the movie that I started praying, and quite early at that, for the asteroid to actually hit the earth and bring an end to this tired and tiresome series once and for all. Spoiler: No surprise, it didn't, and I'm sure we'll be stuck with “Ice Age: Still No Bronze Age in Sight” in a year or two. 

On the plus side, once again credit must go to the animators and artists involved in the film because it is, unquestionably, very easy on the eyes, with loads of pretty colours everywhere (though less so in 3D) and some nice late ice-age landscapes in general. Sadly, that's about it for the good news. 

The Ice Age series has always been two or three thousand steps behind the best of Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks, Laika, Sony, Aardman and Studio Ghibli in terms of family-friendly animated movies (though Blue Sky Studios' output in general is pretty underwhelming) and there's nothing in the fifth (fifth!) installment that even hints at a Madagascar-3-like resurgence. No, Ice Age: Collision Course may well be the worst in an already lackluster series.

Quite aside for wasting an exceptional voice cast (the unspeakably irritating Wanda Sykes aside, of course) on some of the most boring and uninspired characters in modern kids' cinema, the plot is daft even by Saturday morning cartoon standards and the jokes are less actual jokes than they are a series of increasingly screechy hyperactive “antics” and truly woeful one-liners.

Even Scrat, who would usually provide some much-needed, silent-movie-era slapstick fun in the earlier Ice Age films under performs here – even throwing him and his precious acorn into outer space apparently isn't enough to resuscitate a gag that has gone on long, long past its sell-by date. 

Very, very young kids who haven't seen enough great animated movies might get something out of this mess but everyone else would do well to stay far, far away from Ice Age: Collision Course and its smorgasbord of bland characters, warmed up jokes, arbitrary action set pieces and naff family drama.

And, yes, I am still trying to figure out what Neil Degrass Tyson was doing in something this unscientific, let alone this bad.

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