Boy, this is a franchise that won’t die, isn’t it? Not that I’m complaining too much. Blue Sky is home to some pretty solid animated films over the years, including my number nine favorite movie of 2015, THE PEANUTS MOVIE (I know I said SHAUN THE SHEEP, but that could have been an accident). But it’s most famous franchise is clearly Ice Age, and this wasn’t a bad franchise to me as a kid.
I loved the first one. I thought it was funny and very memorable. Tae kwon dodo still makes me giggle and is easily the best of the franchise simply for how memorable it is compared to the others. Plus the ending of giving that kid back to his people… wow, made me cry.
MELTDOWN introduced the confused mammoth named Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifa) who thought she was a possum, due to being raised by them and having the possum brothers Crash (voiced by Sean William Scott) and Eddie (voiced by Josh Peck), both were incredibly enjoyable to watch, and eventually became Manny’s romantic interest. That’s… actually all that I remember from the movie. I don’t remember any bad guy, or what the real conflict was. I guess that means it couldn’t have been very good, but I remember liking it okay. Take that for what it’s worth.
DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS was a bit better. I remember them meeting the awesome weasel guy (forgot his name) [Buck – voiced by Simon Pegg] with an “eye-patch” who has a rivalry with a big ole dinosaur named Rudy. This is also the movie that had Ellie pregnant and would eventually give birth to their baby girl Peaches amidst a fight against some raptors while the ground was being torn asunder. And I do remember a fun attachment that Sid had to the baby T-rexes.
CONTINENTAL DRIFT… I couldn’t tell you if I saw it or not. I know it featured Peaches as a teenager and Manny and the boys get separated from the ladies. The only reason I really remember the bad guy is because it was such an incredibly silly thing to watch as the movie clearly went the Pirates of the Caribbean route. Yeah, the bad guy was a monkey acting like a pirate. I remember thinking that the shark had officially jumped for me. I’m pretty sure I saw it and just don’t remember jack, but… yeah, that’s hard to do, especially if it was only a few years ago that the movie came out.
But one thing is universal about the franchise: Scrat (voiced by Chris Wedge) is hilarious. I remember so very little of his escapades, but whenever I watch him, I’m laughing so hard. This cute little guy and his love for his acorn and how it gets him into so much danger, it’s a riot, no matter how absurd they get, and they get pretty out there.
Now for this one. It’s being hailed as the end of the franchise (I mean in terms of being the intended final installment), which I’m not sure if I believe. The franchise has consistently made bank and anything that causes studio heads to swim in benjamins will always make sequels until it hurts them or a new idea comes along that they think will also make them filthy rich. But I’m not sure how much I’m looking forward to it. “The end of the Ice Age,” wasn’t that already tackled in MELTDOWN? Sid’s looking for love? Again, wasn’t this tackled in another movie? And IMDb’s early rating wasn’t inspiring me with confidence. 5.9/10. Wow, that’s bad. The worst rated Ice Age movie was CONTINENTAL, and that was a 6.6/10, a fairly decent rating. If the crude humor is any indication, it’s probably over-saturated with that kind of humor that I hate. So yeah, I’m going in with pretty low expectations. But how is it? Is it going out on a dignified end, or will be be grateful for natural selection kicking it to the curb? This is my honest opinion of ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE.
Scrat (voiced by Chris Wedge) finds himself on an alien space ship and accidentally sends a series of meteors toward Earth that will destroy it. On Earth, Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) is having a difficult time accepting young mammoth Julian (voiced by Adam Devine) as the future husband of his only daughter Peaches (voiced by Keke Palmer). As early meteors start to hit the planet, the commotion stirs action-junkie weasel Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg) into figuring out what’s going on. He stumbles upon a mysterious artifact that foretells the coming doom. He meets up with Manny and the others and tells them that there’s a way to prevent their destruction, but it means traveling a far distance while also evading some predatory birds out for revenge against Buck.
This was not a very good movie. But you know something, I’m too old for this kind of kids movie. The first one was good, even really good. It had emotional weight that anyone can relate to. Real effort was made to make it good and it stood out. Those days are unfortunately long gone in terms of this franchise. It relies way too much on pop culture references that will eventually horribly date it and way too much immature humor.
Right off the bat, the movie opens with mammoths playing hockey (okay, they technically open with Scrat, who remains one of the best parts of the franchise). Specifically, one-on-one between Manny and Peaches. Kind of a confused joke since hockey won’t be invented for another million years, give or take. This would be tolerable if it wasn’t followed up by Peaches’ fiance… um, I actually don’t remember his name. I guess he was just so annoying that I don’t want to remember (quick interruption, I wrote this out before typing it, so I genuinely didn’t remember his name [it’s Julian], and what made me laugh incredibly hard was his voice actor: Adam Devine. Suddenly SO MUCH was explained!). What made him so annoying? He’s one of those young man characters that are fast-talking, dumb and oblivious, but still kind-hearted. The very character that describes Johnny from HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, for example. Manny insults him, he doesn’t register it as an insult, even though it’s clearly an insult. Manny says something sarcastic to him, Julian is genuinely confused. Why are these characters the go-to characters of kids films? It drives me absolutely bonkers!
To make matters worse, the movie sees fit to throw in the age-old cliché, “overbearing father’s treasured daughter is getting married to a man he doesn’t approve of.” Exactly how many movies do this? In fact, I think this movie does it worse! What was that Bernie Mac/Ashton Kutcher rom com? [it was GUESS WHO] At least with that movie, Mac’s character didn’t like Kutcher’s because of racial reasons. In MEET THE PARENTS, it was because De Niro’s character thought Stiller’s was a loser who had something to hide and wasn’t worth marrying his daughter. Here, Manny doesn’t like him because… um… reasons! That’s all I got out of that. And why is this a conflict of the story? Don’t you think, you know, a meteor shower about to destroy the world would be conflict enough?
Come to think of it, isn’t that the plot of that upcoming Bryan Cranston/James Franco comedy, WHY HIM??
You know what, now that I’m thinking about it, this movie has way too much going on. You have the “end of days” plot line, you have the “father dislikes daughter’s future mate” plot line, “Manny and Ellie are scared of Peaches going off on her own,” “Diego and Shira (voiced by Jennifer Lopez) debate whether or not they should have kids,” “Sid’s looking for romance,” and you have “Buck being hunted by birds.” Did I miss anything?! Oh my dear sweet… this movie seriously needed to stop. Pick a plot and develop that because nearly none of these plots have any real development. Not that I’m a film teacher or anything, but I’d like to think it’s pretty obvious in the film world that BIGGER MOVIES DOESN’T MEAN MORE PLOT POINTS!!! It means things have to have added weight, the stakes need to be higher, the drama needs to be deeper, it needs to mean more. COLLISION COURSE fails in this regard and it’s painful to watch.
We all know kids will watch anything, but, as the Nostalgia Critic put it, “kids deserve better movies.” I wish parents wouldn’t just take their kids to see a movie just because it’s for them. A good kids movie is something that anyone would enjoy, like Pixar, Disney, Aardman, even Blue Sky did fantastic work with THE PEANUTS MOVIE. A vast majority of those movies are timeless and can be seen no matter what time and age you’re born in. But Ice Age feels like it really needs to end. While not the most god-awful movie I’ve ever seen, I do feel like parents should just skip this one and wait for a better movie to show them.
My honest rating: 2/5
- BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE (animated thriller)
- Based on the popular DC comic book foretelling the origin story of Batman’s greatest enemy, as well as hailed as one of the definitive Joker iterations.
- Directed by Sam Liu (JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS, BATMAN: YEAR ONE, and SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES)
- Written by Brian Azzarello (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT – 1 segment)
- Stars voice talents of Kevin Conroy (YOGA HOSERS, video game BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT, and TV show BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES), Mark Hamill (STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, and TV show BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES), Tara Strong (THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, and TV shows ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and TEEN TITANS), John DiMaggio (TV shows ADVENTURE TIME and FUTURAMA and video game GEARS OF WAR), and more.
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeNi4PfNMqI