Ice Age: Collision Course Review

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The Ice Age franchise has been around for over 14 years now. Who would’ve known that a franchise revolved around a wooly mammoth, a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and two opossums would make a franchise last for so long? After the last Ice Age film came out back in 2012, Fox is giving the fans another installment with Ice Age: Collision Course. Can Ice Age: Collision Course keep the franchise alive or has Collision Course hammered the final nail in the franchise’s coffin?

Fortunately, Ice Age: Collision Course is a film that might hammer the final nail in the coffin. The film is a slightly funny film that’s crippled by run-of-the-mill performances and an extremely predictable storyline.

Ice Age: Collision Course follows the old gang of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo) as they team up with Buck (Simon Pegg) to fend off an asteroid that would destroy their world.

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After several years of lackluster films, it’s astonishing as to why we’re getting the fifth film in the franchise. The previous films featured the prehistoric animals traveling from here to there, making fart jokes, and occasionally check in on Scrat’s quest to bury that acorn. This formula didn’t work then and it certainly doesn’t work the fifth time around. The film is essentially a joyless film that won’t entertain anyone past the age of 6. The most admirable thing that screenwriters Michael J. Wilson, Michael Berg, and Yoni Brenner tried to do is providing the story with true scientific facts within the confines of the film’s nonsense. It’s a noble attempt to make the film educational to the film’s younger viewers.

But what the story gets wrong, the animators get right. The animation in the film isn’t up to the standards of Pixar or Disney, but it’s still beautiful nonetheless. This is where most of the laughs come from as the animators are highly inspired by the physical comedy of the Looney Tunes. In addition, they have a deep understanding of comedic timing. Scrat’s Wile E. Coyote-inspired interludes and Buck’s witty banter are definitely some of the film’s humorous highlights. The animated details and the bright color palette is stunning to look at as well. The character designs are still a bit funky after all these years, but it is what it is.

Unfortunately, these humorous highlights are far in between. Despite a merciful 95-minute runtime, the film still feels like an eternity. Not only that but the story is also so highly predictable that you can see where the film’s going to go 50 steps ahead. There’s no nuclear weapon to destroy the asteroid and this is a PG-film so you can’t destroy the entire Earth.

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Yet the legacy of characters in Ice Age needs an asteroid to get rid of some of the tired series regulars. Moreso the wooly mammoth family, consisting of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer and Adam Devine, whose portrayals are more lumbering and expressionless than usual. Although they are the primary focus of the film, their family troubles aren’t even an integral part of the story. Denis Leary is also going through the “motions” as well with his flat performance as Diego. Another set of characters that need to be put to rest is Josh Peck and Seann William Scott whose characters provide the most unfunny jokes in the film.

Out of all the legacy characters, the only actor who seems to be having a good time after all these years is John Leguizamo. Sid is still the most relatable and funnier character out of the bunch. Yet Leguizamo isn’t the only character that’s having fun as the versatile Simon Pegg is back as Buck. His energetic portrayal brings not just laughs but plenty of the cooler moments in the film.

Should the franchise ever gets greenlighted for a sixth installment, it would be wise to focus on Sid, Buck, and some of the newest characters to the franchise. Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), Brooke (Jessie J), and a family of dino-birds (voiced by Nick Offerman, Max Greenfield, and Stephanie Beatriz) are all good characters in their own right. They’re entertaining and weird enough to help possibly usher in whatever’s left of the series.

Overall, Ice Age: Collision Course is a film that feels as if it’s on its last legs. At times, you’ll wish that the asteroid actually hit the Earth because it’s definitely not a type of film that an entire family can sit down and watch together multiple times. Instead, the film is the type of film that you keep super young kids occupied while you do chores around the house.

Rating: 2/5 atoms
NR 2 Atoms - D

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