Genre: CG Animation
Director: Mike Thurmeier
Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez, Stephanie Beatriz, Adam DeVine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Max Greenfield, Jessie J, Nick Offerman
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Official Website: http://www.iceagemovies.com/gate
Opening Day: 30 June 2016
Synopsis: Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.
Ever wonder how Ice Age managed to churn out one lackluster sequel after another while others just went direct to video after a second outing? Simply because the entire franchise has earned more than enough to overhaul half of our aging train line.
This fifth instalment features our usual bunch of ice age creatures returning to save themselves from a cosmic event set off by the adorable acorn-loving Scrat. The plot is as thin as ice, the jokes are lazy and there are more new characters on top of an already crowded cast which obviously deprived the screentime of the three buddies.
Before the catastrophe strikes, the offspring of Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah), Peaches (Keke Palmer) is now attached, getting ready to be married to a mastodon named Julian (Adam Devine). We have the predictable daddy insecurity issues in addition to the family drama as one of the franchise’s ongoing themes. But these are pure fillers until the next action sequence comes up. Shortly after a seemingly ordinary meteor shower strikes, the one-eye swashbuckling weasel (Simon Pegg) from Dawn of the Dinosaurs appears to warn everyone about the pending disaster, an even bigger meteor shower is going to wipe out every mammals on earth. His solution for everyone to survive this calamity is to divert the asteroid back to space and to add on to the danger and adrenalin, a family of carnivorous dino-birds are hot on their trail.
The story on the whole is unimaginative and for the most part monotonous. Manny is still his usual boring self, Sabre-toothed cats Diego (Denis Leary) and Shira (Jennifer Lopez) are considering starting a family and Sid the bumbling sloth (John Leguizamo) is still seeking a mate. Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) continues to be the irritating sidekicks and Granny sloth (Wanda Sykes) entertains with her bitchiness. There are among them new characters played by Nick Offerman and Jesse Tyler Ferguson but they are introduced purely to disguise the weak prehistoric narrative. If you must know, British pop singer Jesse J voices a sloth (no prizes on who she is going to set her eyes on) and obligingly contributes a catchy tune.
14 years have passed since the first Ice Age, I bet most of the audiences can only remember the antics of the wacky squirrel Scrat. His segments are normally the highlights despite having no dialogue; just his perfect comic timing and Chris Wedge’s zany sound dubbing. If Blue Sky and Fox decide to assemble all his sequences in the beginning, the halls will be half empty even before the rest of the actual movie starts. In Collision Course, Scrat has a whole prologue and his subsequent mischiefs set in outer space and again, it’s the best part of this 94 minutes movie. If you don’t get my hint, just arrive punctually at the screening.
Directors Mike Thurmeier and Galen Tan Chu have stick with the studio and franchise long enough unfortunately, they didn’t manage to bless their gang of old friends with enough to do except running tirelessly from one point to another. The sole distraction of this brand new Ice Age is that the visual continues to look rich and detailed and I’m pretty sure the technologies behind all those fur and movement have largely bump up since they first started.
IMDB claims this is the final entry of the franchise. We seriously hope so before we find Scrat’s antics no longer enticing. It’s best that Blue Sky and Fox starts working on a better property instead of continuing flogging a dead horse.
(Ice Age ought to be frozen for at least a century before civilization needs another tired instalment)
Review by Linus Tee