That classic Ice Age formula of: bundle a group of animals together and make them walk over there, remains pretty much intact in this latest prehistoric animated romp. Ice Age movies have never been a hugely sophisticated lot, with the previous entries into the series chiefly comprised of a bunch of barely-related comedy skits connected by moments of animals ambling along. In the first instance a sloth gets a bit lost and must walk around to find his friends; in the second a bunch of mates walk off to find a boat; in the third the mates walk around to find their sloth friend who has managed to get lost again; and in the fourth everybody gets lost and must walk around to find each other. And all this is happening while a charming little squirrel attempts (and fails) to bury an acorn.
Ice Age: Collision Course does very little to upset this tried-and-tested formula for low-key comedy. In this case, an asteroid (confusingly created by the aforementioned squirrel) is hurtling headlong towards earth and the animals must walk to a spot, over the hill and far away, in order to prevent it. Their journey to the impact point, of course, gives them a reason to saunter through a series of largely irrelevant comedy skits and engage in a bit of heart-warming banter. This is how Ice Age movies work.
If you are of the mind that the previous Ice Age movies are something approaching high art, then you’ll be right at home here. If you’ve been left feeling a little cold by the previous Ice Age road movies, then there is nothing here that will change your mind and melt your icy heart. This is cookie-cutter movie making designed to be flung into the faces of its audience with the smallest amount of effort imaginable, bringing home the largest possible profits at the smallest possible expense.
If you’re planning on using Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Dennis Leary) as a trio of baby-sitters during the school summer holidays, then this is probably a decent-ish 100 minute investment. It might be worth noting, however, that a fair percentage of the children surrounding me during my screening became pretty restless with a good twenty minutes still to go, such is the ephemeral nature of the comedy. But then what do you expect? Twentieth Century Fox have milked this one for all it’s worth, and looking at the box office receipts, it’s worth a hell of a lot. There’s nothing present here to suggest that Fox have any new ideas for the property, but then there’s no suggestion that they’ll be throwing in the towel with this anytime soon.
Essentially a carbon copy of the four that have preceded it, Ice Age: Collision Course just about lives up to its own very low standards.
[rating=2] | Chris Banks
Animation, Adventure, Comedy | USA, 2016 | U |20th Century Fox | 15th July 2016 (UK) |Dir. Galen T. Chu | Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah