Ice Age: Collision Course review

The Ice Age films have always used the "epic journey" narrative device – in each film, the characters have always had to travel from point A to point B for one reason or another. With Collision Course, the fifth film in this animated franchise, it seems the journey may now be at an end, for this is easily the weakest and dullest outing in the series so far.

The slim plot sees the acorn-obsessed saber-toothed squirrel Scrat finds an alien spacecraft in a glacier and somehow blast himself into space. His shenanigans result in an asterloid hurtling to Earth, so mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) and his family and friends must find a way to stop it before it destroys the planet. So yes, they head off on a journey to find some magnetic crystals with which to repel the threat. At the same time, Manny and wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) have to deal with the upcoming marriage of daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) to Julian (Adam Devine), and are not looking forward to her leaving home.

The other core members of the gang are present and accounted for in this limp outing – Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and his Granny (Wanda Sykes), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and his girlfriend Shira (Jennifer Lopez), and twin opossums Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott and Josh Peck) – and Simon Pegg’s one-eyed weasel Buck is also back. He's the one who finds an alien tablet, in an underground cavern, whichoutlines the danger they are in and how to defeat it. As you can see, the makers have thrown any attempt at logic out the windown, whiich makes this a hard adventure to go along with. Just how do these animals even know what an asteroid is, or what danger they are in?

The film does pick up a little when the gang, on their travels, come across the commune, led by the Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). But it feels too little, too late. Lack of logic aside, the characters feel tired, the family subplot is unoriginal and dull, the Buck character is annoying after about five minutes and there are very few laughs to be had. The most fun is with Scrat's Looney Tune-style outer-space antics – he does, in many ways,  feel very much like an ancestor of Wile E Coyote. And the animation from Blue Sky is, as usual, just gorgeous, especially during the meteor shower finale. If this is the final outing for the Ice Age crew then I, for one, won't be shedding any tears – they've had a pretty good run. But maybe a spinoff a standalone Scrat movie instead?

ice age collision course 2016 movie embed

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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