Ice Age: Continental Drift
The fourth in the animated series offers few new pleasures
The animated series that began a decade ago continues with a fourth instalment that plays to the strengths of the popular series but offers little that is either original or new. At this rate these films will be extinct sooner rather than later, as even the least critically astute audiences begin to question their point.
Ice Age: Continental Drift reacquaints us with unlikely pals Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), sabre-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary) and overprotective mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) who is struggling to give his teenage daughter the freedom she desires. This is an excuse for a few important life lessons while dealing with the more pressing problem of shifting continental plates reforming the land they had previously called home.
Along the way to dealing with this tectonic nightmare they encounter a rag-tag group of pirates headed by orangutan Captain Gutt (entertainingly voiced by Peter Dinklage), which is the cue for more movie references, a cameo from Jennifer Lopez as Gutt’s love interest Shira, and a seaborne diversion that is passably entertaining and at least free of cheesy moralising.
As our ‘heroes’ struggle to be reunited with their beloved family members the various episodes of this patchy tale are broken up by the continuing adventures of Scrat the squirrel (Chris Wedge) and his cherished acorn, the frenzied pursuit of which has triggered this cataclysmic, continent shifting chain of events.
Overall the 3D adventure bears a polish that reflects a sophisticated set of production values but which the scriptwriting and increasingly banal characterisations have not kept up with.
General release from Fri 13 Jul.