ICE AGE 4 – CONTINENTAL DRIFT
In a previous post Mumabulous made some disparaging comments about Ice Age 4 – Continental Drift. As I have mentioned before, I am peeved by Hollywood’s habit of rehashing characters and concepts over and over, flogging every last ounce of life out of them. ( Shrek 4 being a stand out example of this.) As I rounded the girls up and headed to the Randwick Ritz this morning I was expecting a lame outing. It was merely an opportunity to sit in the dark with a cappucino, whilst the princesses were distracted. I am happy to report that the whole experience was much, much better than I had anticipated. Both girls loved it and I found myself entranced by the spectacular animation and chuckling along with the sight gags.
Given that this school holiday release has been heralded by an intense marketing push, you are probably aware of the basic storyline, but let me go over it once more.s Scrat the inept squirrel, in his never ending quest to seize an elusive acorn that he has been chasing through out the entire series, sets off an chain of cataclysmic events resulting in the break up of the land mass into the modern continents. When the ground literallys shifts beneath the feet of the familiar herd (consisting of Manny the mammoth and his family, Diego the sabre toothed tiger, and Sid the Sloth), Manny, Diego and Sid are cast adrift on an iceberg on a treacherous sea. The trio are shortly joined by Sid’s apparently senile Granny and this intrepid foursome must navigate their way home. A battle against the elements is not nearly dramatic enough and our heros must contend with Captain Gutt, a pyschopathic orangutan pirate and his rag tag crew. Meanwhile back on the mainland, Manny’s teenage daughter Peaches, is dealing with peer pressure and her first crush as the herd race for safety from the rapidly encroaching landscape. (As we all know teenage peer pressure is every bit as challenging as any disaster nature can cook up). You’d never expect it but by the end the herd is re-united, the villian vanquished and everyone learns a lesson about the true value of family and friendship.
The film crams in a number of themes and subplots such as being true to yourself, standing up for friends and families and the redeeming power of luurve. As adults its territory we’ve trodden hundreds of times before but its fresh and engaging to a five year old. From a parent’s point of view the plot is as transparent as Google maps – you can see what’s coming miles ahead. For instance, when Sid is chastised for screwing up an ambush of Gutt’s ship you know that he’ll end up saving the day in the films climax. Similarly when Sid’s granny raves inanely about an offscreen pet called Precious the others dismiss her as a demented crank. We all know that she’s got something significant tucked away and true to form Precious makes a HUGE entrance just at the right moment. The cliches are too numerous to list – not least the under developed love story between Diego and Shira ( one of Gutts crew – redeemed by luuurve). The dialogue too, is uninspired with our pre-historic gang talking like Californian teenagers. In some respects however, the script writers exercised tremendous restraint – the fart humour is limited. This is more than compensated for by regurgitation jokes. Eeeeeeeeeeeew!
Yet enough with the fault finding. Ice Age 4 is NOT cutting edge cinema but it is an enjoyable trip to the movies. The animation is amazing, particularly the scenes of the rapidly disintergrating landscape. The plot, despite being predictable, is fast paced and fun. Whilst many of the one-liners fell flat, the visual humour made me smile. Also the main feature is preceded by charming short ” Maggie Simpson In The Longest Daycare” which should be ranked amongst The Simpsons’ greatest hits.
Mumabulous Verdict – 7.5/10. A great school holiday movie. Put aside any expectations about fresh snappy dialogue and sharp observational humour. Just enjoy the fast paced, gloriously animated ride.
P1’s Verdict – Ice Age 4 was weally, weally gwreat!!!! I weally liked that squirrel chasing the acorn. It was soooooooo funny. Hehehehehehehehe.
P2’s Verdict – We ate popcorn at the movies.