As a film fan, there may not be a greater rush than finding a movie that sticks with you. There's something stimulating and thrilling about seeing a film, and several weeks or even months later, you still can't stop thinking about it and desiring to share and discuss it with others. It's those movies that make sitting through cinematic slop, like "The Hangover Part II" or "The Last Airbender," totally worth it.
"Ice Age: Continental Drift," the fourth installment in the frostbitten animated series, is not one of those movies. Sure, it's entertaining enough while you're in the theater, but it's hard to imagine anyone remembering "Continental Drift" long after they've thrown out their popcorn tub and left the building.
The film follows the friendly trio of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary, his second film in two weeks) and Sid (John Leguizamo) as they attempt to cope with the shifting tectonic plates (I just made my fifth grade science teacher very proud) slowly forming the Earth into the familiar seven continents we have today.
Unfortunately, during one very sudden shift, the three amigos get separated from the rest of the prehistoric creatures, including Manny's family (Queen Latifah and Keke Palmer). Lost at sea, the friends must make their way back, a task made no easier by the band of pirates (led by Peter Dinklage) continually hunting them down.
I'd be lying if I said that "Ice Age: Continental Drift" wasn't entertaining for its 94-minute running time. As usual, the movie's best parts come during Scrat's little Looney Tunes-esque attempts to bury his prized acorn. The bits are almost entirely silent other than the prehistoric squirrel's squeaks and grunts (provided by Chris Wedge, the first film's director), but the physical comedy provides some of "Ice Age"'s bigger laughs.
Other than Scrat, most of the movie's humor comes from Leguizamo's Sid (the other two leads serve mainly as the straight man). The character's constant bumbling, mainly involving eating and drinking things he shouldn't (salt water, paralyzing berries, etc.), provides some decent chuckles.
However, his best moment is a strangely meta line early in the film, telling his granny (Wanda Sykes) about their previous adventures with the dinosaurs and noting that "it didn't make sense at all." Glad to hear that Sid and the film's creators do know where the Ice Age falls in relativity to the Jurassic (hint: not close).
As expected of a modern kids movie, the animation looks great, and there's a nice sequence near the middle involving some sirens. However, midway through the film, audiences might find themselves with a surprising and unexpected feeling: boredom. Even some of the voice actors sound less than enthusiastic; Dinklage, so witty and powerful on "Game of Thrones," brings little menace or humor to his pirate caption role. He's just as colorless as the slabs of ice they use for their ships.
Despite "Ice Age: Continental Drift"'s continuous assortment of fast-paced action scenes and general lunacy, the story and characters feel startlingly generic. Manny's story arc about learning to let his daughter go and be a kid is pulled straight from "Finding Nemo" but without the emotion, while Manny's daughter aspires to join the popular kids, a plotline seen in TV shows and movies too numerous to name here.
Will she eventually disavow a true friend in order to be accepted? Will she learn that being yourself is better than being a cool kid? And will Diego's love interest from the pirate clan (Jennifer Lopez) discover that her mean buccaneer friends don't care about her as much as she thought? Is this movie made for easily entertained kids?
Well, yes it is. And kids will be very entertained. Even parents will get a few chuckles out of "Ice Age: Continental Drift." Just don't expect to hear or think about the movie ever again after the ride home.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by OnMilwaukee.com Staff Writers
Published Sept. 29, 2016
The great Milwaukee weekend is here, and so is the one and only OnMilwaukee Weekend Preview. The Film Festival continues, MKE Octoberfest pops up Downtown, the Bucks hold Fan Fest, marathoners take to the Lake, Pokemon pops with the MSO, Boerner lights up with amazing lanterns, the Night Nation Run lights up Miller Park, pets parade on Brady Street and so very much more. Cheers, Milwaukee, your weekend is delivered.
Published Sept. 27, 2016
As the Bucks kicked off training camp in Madison on Tuesday, co-owner Wes Edens announced that the team would continue its ticket donation partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County's AVID/TOPS program for the 2016-17 season.
Published Sept. 26, 2016
We hear a lot about "school choice" in reference to voucher schools and other educational options. Nevertheless, I'm eager to share why my husband and I chose public schools for our kids - and why I'll continue to support them.
Published Sept. 25, 2016
This edition of #WeWant brings you some of our favorite items for a Sunday funday. Whether at home or out, we've got you covered.
Published Sept. 24, 2016
More than 50 Common Ground leaders and members stuffed themselves like sardines into four large vans during a recent tour of Sherman Park and the neighborhood improvements spearheaded by Common Ground, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports.
Published Sept. 22, 2016
Bars and restaurants all across Milwaukee are teaming up to give us cocktails all week. Thanks to MKE Cocktail Week, for seven days, you can wet your whistle with special, one-of-a-kind beverages all around the city.
Published Sept. 22, 2016
Fall's in the air this weekend at Wisconsin State Fair Park. Harvest Fair 2016 runs Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25. Admission is free and the event takes place Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Published Sept. 21, 2016
The Brewers have their final homestand at Miller Park this week, culminating with the Give-Back Game on Sunday. Milwaukee, which has gone 11-7 so far in September, takes on the Pirates and Reds. Highlights of the homestand include free stuff and fun events.
Published Sept. 21, 2016
EMI Nashville recording artist Eric Church will bring his "Holdin' My Own Tour" to Milwaukee's BMO Harris Bradley Center on April 14, 2017. For the first time ever, there will be no support act on this tour. Eric Church and the ECB will play two full sets with an intermission in between.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
The upcoming election is the first presidential face-off since Wisconsin instituted a controversial voter ID law considered one of the nation's most restrictive. Looking to determine its effects, Madison365 reports a comprehensive study of the 2016 election is set.