Movie Review: Ice Age: Collision Course

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The Ice Age gang face extinction once more as a massive asteroid heads for Earth.

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Mike Thurmeier & Galen T. Chu, 2016

Living in a peaceful oasis with a variety of creatures, woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) is concerned about the upcoming marriage of his daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). He dislikes Peaches’ peppy fiancé Julian (Adam Devine) and their plan to leave the oasis and travel once they get married. However, when acorn lover Scrat (Chris Wedge) chases his beloved acorn on to an alien spaceship (I cannot make this shit up) he accidentally sets several asteroids on a collision course with Earth. Manny gathers his friends Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) along with various family members and love interests to stop the asteroids from destroying Earth. Along the way they meet up with their old pal Buck (Simon Pegg), protector of the dinosaurs, who has discovered a prophecy that gives them information on how they might be able to stop the asteroid. They meet up with a host of new characters, because one thing this franchise was really lacking was an assortment of irritating creatures in ridiculous situations.

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Who the hell looked at Ice Age and thought, “You know what this franchise is missing? Alien spaceships.”? Whoever that person was, do you think they knew that the alien spaceships wouldn’t even be the worst thing in this unbearable dreck? Ice Age has long since jumped the shark, and Collision Course is another entry that I’m sure is unwelcomed by the majority of parents who have to accompany their kids to this “movie”. The plot of this movie is one of the most idiotic concepts I’ve ever heard of. I know that all of these films are based on what is, at best, very flimsy science, but at this point all threat has vanished. If their Earth were actually hit by an asteroid, they’d probably just swim through space to start a colony on Mars with very little disruption to their lives. Nothing matters, nothing makes sense, there’s no basis in anything resembling reality. I’m starting to really feel sorry for the people who spend years of their life animating 3D movies for kids. Sure, some of them are good, but an awful lot of them are like this – somebody, potentially an actual five-year-old, spent all of an hour throwing together a “script”, and then some poor shmucks put hundreds and thousands of effort into bringing that half-assed effort to life. There are a few really nice landscapes in this film, but most of the effort is spent on the hundreds of two-dimensional caricatures stuffed into this overlong film. I don’t remember most of them – this franchise seems to think that if a character made a child laugh once, they should be brought back for every subsequent film – but theoretically we’re supposed to care about the main trio from the first film: Manny, Sid, and, to a far lesser extent, the sidelined Diego.

It’s a shame Diego gets so little time, because I don’t actually hate him. He isn’t actively disgusting like Sid or inadvertently horrible like the Ross Geller-alike Manny. The Hangover-for-kids buddies have been slowly shacking up over the course of the movies so that now both Diego and Manny are paired off – so of course this movie needs to find a love interest for, of all characters, Sloth. The weird focus on heteronormative romantic relationships really irritated me in this movie – it’s so unnecessary, and yet it drives 100% of the non-asteroid-related plot. So much of the comedy in this film comes from throwing Sid through the ringer so he can lisp his way to a limp punchline that by the time it finished, I could predict nearly every one of Sid’s lines. Then we’re supposed to feel sorry for Sid for not being able to get a girlfriend, and happy for him when an inconceivably cute female sloth takes a shine to him for some unfathomable reason. The film is weirdly focused on Sid’s bodily humour – it’s the main “funny” throughline, alongside Scrat, who, five films in, has well and truly worn out his welcome. The madcap adventures of Scrat have long been the better part of these films, but the addition of a spaceship in this one pushes him over the edge into stupidly ridiculous (I’d like to point out he also caused continental drift in the fourth instalment). Only Simong Pegg’s weasel Buck, a character returning from the franchise’s best film, the third, has any real energy to his comedy. The fact that he has his own Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his head cracked me up (although I did wonder what the hell Neil was doing in a movie that was this scientifically stupid). Having said all this, the kids I saw this movie with loved it. So what the hell do I know?

Ice Age: Collision Course on IMDb

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