‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ far from memorable

‘Con­tin­ent­al Drift’ is the fourth movie in the ‘Ice Age’ fran­chise.


The antics of Scrat (the squir­rel that is forever pur­su­ing the elu­sive acorn) has al­ways been the high­light of the Ice Age series.

Ob­vi­ously, the film­makers real­ize this and de­cide that Scrat’s acorn pur­suit should set up the drama in the fourth Ice Age flick, Con­tin­ent­al Drift (am I the only one who won­ders how many more Ice Age movies will there be?).

Ray Ro­mano and Queen Lati­fah still sound fa­mil­i­ar and com­fort­able in their roles as the happy couple, mam­moths Marty and El­lie. Peaches, their baby born in the last flick (2009’s Dawn of the Di­no­saurs), is now a lively teen­ager (voiced by Keke Palmer) who wants to loosen the over­pro­tect­ive grip of her fath­er, ex­plore and hang out with cute wooly mam­moth boys. Their ex­ten­ded fam­ily, a saber-toothed ti­ger named Diego (Denis Leary) and a sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), are still around and are joined by Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes).

As Scrat chases the acorn around and around, he ac­ci­dently causes an ice­berg to break, es­sen­tially caus­ing the split of the Earth in­to five con­tin­ents.

When the ice­berg breaks, Marty, Diego, Sid and Granny be­come sep­ar­ated from El­lie, Peaches and all of their friends. As the gang floats along on a block of ice try­ing to make their way back to land, they come upon a gang of pir­ates led by an evil ape named Cap­tain Gutt (Peter Dink­lage). Gutt’s first as­sist­ant is a white ti­ger named Shira (Jen­nifer Lopez), who faces a battle with­in her­self to do the right thing or stay with pir­ate gang. Of course, sparks fly between Shira and Diego be­ing that they are both ti­gers.

Sid’s Granny is the most mem­or­able as Sykes’ sassy por­tray­al of the kooky char­ac­ter garners the most laughs. Still, even with the funny Granny, the movie is ser­i­ously lack­ing in the laughter de­part­ment. It’s also lack­ing in ac­tion and emo­tion­al depth with its un­in­spired storyline. It’s got the clich&ea­cute;d mor­als of be­ing loy­al to your fam­ily and friends, but of­fers noth­ing new on the sub­ject.

Ice Age tries to keep cur­rent with voices that the youth of today would re­cog­nize, such as Jen­nifer Lopez in a pretty large role along with rap­pers Nicki Minaj and Drake, and act­ors Josh Peck (Nick­elodeon’s Drake & Josh) and Heath­er Mor­ris (Glee) in bit parts. I per­son­ally thought Nicki Minaj’s voice was quite suited to the teen-aged wooly mam­moth char­ac­ter she played.

Be­fore the movie, there’s a cute five-minute short called The Longest Day­care, fea­tur­ing Baby Mag­gie from The Simpsons. The dia­log-free short chron­icles Mag­gie’s re­turn vis­it to the Ayn Rand School for Tots and some in­cid­ents with her arch-rival, Baby Ger­ald. Some might say five minutes of The Simpsons is bet­ter than 90 minutes of Ice Age. I’d be hard pressed not to agree.

The Ice Age series has nev­er been among my fa­vor­ites, but it’s still a per­fectly ad­equate time-waster for a bored kid on a hot, sum­mer day. However, com­pared to this sum­mer’s pre­vi­ous an­im­ated flicks, Brave and Mad­a­gas­car 3, Ice Age places in dis­tant third in terms of what movie I’d re­com­mend see­ing.

Movie Grade: B-

You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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