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Ice Age: Continental Drift

Occasionally, my four-year-old gets to go to the movies with daddy too. After cinema bonding with my oldest this year at fare such as “The Phantom Menace”, “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man”(all in 3D, btw), it was time for my little guy to head to the multiplex with his old man for some old-fashioned 2D cinema(“Ice Age: Continental Drift” is available in 3D too, but we decided to bypass that option this time). This is the fourth “Ice Age” film, and apparently(after some quick googling)they have all been giant hits worldwide. I’ve glanced at a scene or two here and there of the first three movies—and they seem pretty interchangeable. This is my first full-length sitdown with one, however—and the result was pretty much what I expected. It’s a lot of manic movement and noise…subtlety is certainly not in this mix. Bunch of celebrity voices run the gamut from Ray Romano to Dennis Leary to Wanda Sykes to Queen Latifah to Joy Behar(!…?). Each performance is fine and distinctive and intermittently funny, with Ms. Sykes as Granny and Peter Dinklage as the ape pirate (Captain Gutt)getting most of the good stuff. I’m told that all the “Ice Age” films open the same way with Scrat, the acorn-chasing squirrel character, involved in adventures independent of the main plotline, as he over exerts to gain his nut—always causing calamity and destruction(this time round creating the continental “break” that defines the world as we know it today!). That opening is pretty darn good, but the film starts to flag after that. Some chunks of ice break off from the mainland sending a group of characters adrift. Manny the mammoth(Mr. Romano)struggles film-long to get back to his family, including his teenage angst-filled daughter, whose typical high school style hijinks take up a good portion of the running time. You know how this will all end up, right? Are “big fat lessons learned” and “happily ever after” really spoilers for this type of stuff?               No, I could not work up much enthusiasm for this latest “Ice Age” adventure…and, honestly, neither could my young son. He appeared much more interested in how much candy he had left and the way the arms go up and down on the theater seats than anything that was actually happening on the screen. This in marked contrast to the intense focus he demonstrated with our 2011 visit to the execrable “Cars 2”. It’s not offensive, it’s not horrible, it’s just not very good. And it plays like the filmmakers realize that if they slow down for even a second you might discover how lightweight the proceedings are. It looks pretty and it’s obviously geared to be seen in 3D. Once in a while they hit you with a joke that only the adults get—so that’s always appreciated. And the big plus is that the film is preceded by a superb 4 and a half-minute animated short called “The Longest Daycare”, starring Maggie Simpson of “The Simpsons” fame. Its brevity is its strength—and it puts to shame anything the main feature has to offer. Ultimately what got me through the tepid “Ice Age: Continental Drift” was the knowledge that “The Dark Knight Rises” was just a couple of days away. I intend to see that hours from now, and you should expect that experience to be chronicled before the weekend is out.   Grade:  C

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2 comments on “Ice Age: Continental Drift

  1. […] Ice Age: Continental Drift – Still more love for “The Longest Daycare”: And the big plus is that the film is preceded by a superb 4 and a half-minute animated short called “The Longest Daycare”, starring Maggie Simpson of “The Simpsons” fame. Its brevity is its strength—and it puts to shame anything the main feature has to offer. […]

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