wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
There are some films where you know the humor isn’t of an adult level. You give such films the benefit of doubt, assuming that you’re older now, whose interests have changed. During Ice Age 4 however, even the children were getting restless at several points. Maybe the makers should take this as a hint, and invest in fresher scripts. (Please note that I have been a fan of the franchise, but only till the second film. You have to draw the line somewhere.)Read more
I still remember when the first Ice Age released me and my best friend were staunch Shrek followers: the kind who would dismiss any other animation film. But when we saw Ice Age we were immediate converts. Ice Age was simple, funny and the characters were adorably relatable. But with each film, the franchise became more about minting money than rediscovering the characters and creating offshoots of the narrative.
Ice Age: Continental Drift is the epitome of exactly that phenomenon – it’s formulaic, the jokes are puerile and predictable and your kids might like it, but kids like Bol Bachchan these days as well. (Oh, you’d be surprised with their reactions)
In the first few minutes we’re introduced to the regulars; Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), sabre-toothed Diego (Denis Leary), Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano). Here Manny can’t bear the fact that his daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), is all grown up. As the movie progresses, he gets separated from his family, along with Diego and Sid, and the adventure entails his quest back home.
They encounter a panther pirate (Jennifer Lopez), a walrus (Nick Frost) and a batch of sea-animals led by an Orangutan (Peter Dinklage) on their way. While they are meant to be worthy distractions for the trio, it’s one too many characters. The restlessness could be seen, even among kids, and with time the gags stopped being funny. Even the squirrel Scrat isn’t any respite, as his antics are mostly done in the earlier films. What makes the movie worse is an unnecessary overdose of the wisdom of parenting, love and all that.
While the animation is charming and you find some solace in watching a film where the protagonists have been the same, the plot becomes heavy with so many gimmicks. The jokes and the comedy are funny in the beginning, and that’s mostly because you’ve watched the three previous films. For a first time viewer, Ice Age: Continental Drift is nothing but a animated mash of colors and loud, overdone jokes.
Here’s my theory: a fourth franchise of Ice Age was never going to be a fun movie. There’s only so much you can recycle, plot and gag-wise. At some point, the film will get tedious, and cyclical. It’s a pity because when such films are released you wonder what other films could have been made (maybe more than one film) in that much money.
It’s a vicious cycle.
This article is by guest author Swetha Ramakrishnan. Swetha Ramakrishnan is currently living and working in Mumbai. She's a self-confessed film enthusiast and can most likely be found talking to anyone and everyone about popular cinema and her love for SRK. Swetha Ramakrishnan also blogs at http://swetharamakrishnan.blogspot.com/.
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