Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
0

Movies Review

'Ice Age 4: Continental Drift' review

By
Released on Friday, Jul 13 2012


The Ice Age saga reaches its fourth instalment this week as Manny, Sid, Diego and crew finds themselves separated from their families and drifting across the ocean on an iceberg that's barely big enough to hold them all. It's all kick-started by that loveable saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, again causing havoc in pursuit of a slippery acorn. This time he plummets down to the Earth's core and spins it around at great speed, dividing continents and pulling Manny (Ray Romano) away from Ellie (Queen Latifah) and their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer).

Along the way they pick up Sid's granny (Wanda Sykes) - a relentlessly chatty 80-year-old sloth - to add light relief, and encounter a band of sea pirates led by Peter Dinklage's giant ape Captain Gutt. The new antagonists offer up a chance for Denis Leary's Diego to get romantic with fellow saber tooth Shira (voiced by Jennifer Lopez), and provide some visual contrast between the chilly landscapes of the first two Ice Ages and the more colourful locales of 2009's Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

From the main characters' encounter with a dangerous storm to the deadly siren creatures they encounter, directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier have crafted the finest looking Ice Age yet. However, scripters Michael Berg and Jason Fuchs struggle to bring much new story-wise to proceedings.

Core trio Manny, Diego and Sid are as entertaining as ever on their high seas adventure, but a jam-packed supporting cast means that many of the characters are left with little to do. The mother/daughter bonding subplot for Ellie and Peaches never carries much emotional heft, while the latter's romance with mammoth Ethan (Drake) is equally snoozy.

Scrat has traditionally been the biggest scene-stealer in the Ice Age series, and here he's on top form as he breaks apart continents, gets lured into a siren's trap and, best of all, makes a journey to 'Scratlantis' where he meets a wise rodent voiced by Patrick Stewart.

Previous films have also used him to great effect, but they've been lively enough and engaging enough in the bits inbetween for you not to notice Scrat's absence. In Continental Drift, you find yourselves twiddling your thumbs waiting for the squirrel to show up and generate some chuckles.

Ultimately, Ice Age 4 feels very much like it's a sequel for a franchise running out of steam. The jokes don't quite stick anymore, too many new characters are introduced (including mammoths voiced by Nicki Minaj and Glee's Heather Morris) in a bid to inject new life into the story, and there's little real excitement beyond the 3D CGI spectacle.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...