Ice Age 4: Continental Drift review

Ice Age was a bit of a surprise back in 2002 and now a mere 10 years later we embark on our fourth adventure with Sid, Manny and Diego, this time instead of having to fight dinosaurs they are further defecating all over scientific fact by having to survive the break-up of the continents, which apparently happened in 5 minutes because of Scrat.  Not, as commonly believed, over several million years.  Bloody Scrat...

Since their debut outing the Ice Age films have shown a steady decline in quality and unfortunately this one continues that unwelcome trend.  The plot is of course ridiculous, our three heroes are washed out to sea on a iceberg and have to battle a monkey pirate (really) in the shape of Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) as they attempt to get back home.  Meanwhile Manfred’s family are attempting to lead the herd to safety back on land before the ever shifting land consumes them.

 As ridiculous as the plot is, anyone who goes to watch an Ice Age film expecting an intricate story of intrigue and mystery deserves to be shot, the plot is merely a device to engineer some slapstick humour and some ridiculous chase scenes, all which are shot in eye-stabbing 3D.  On this front the film does well, it looks great although there is a little too much lazy “point stuff at the camera” in order to make the most of the third dimension.  There almost seem to be too many characters in the film now and none of them really get any time to make an impression, it just feels like more time that could be spent with Sid and the gang.  The whole plot thread involving Manfred’s daughter, the “cool” Mammoth and her little rodent pal is so pointless and predictable and it serves only to derail the more interesting events of the film.  

The jokes are pretty hit and miss (unfortunately, more miss than hit) while the new characters such as Shira (Lopez) are pretty forgettable.  However, the film’s saving grace is that the kid’s will love it.  It is a film designed for them primarily and for 105 minutes during the school holidays this will offer parents blessed relief as their children are hypnotised by the image of a monkey sailing an iceberg across the sea.  Adults are likely to be left feeling a tad disappointed, but add an extra star to the score if you are taking the younglings on a day out.

Ice Age: Continental Drift at IMDb

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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