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. 22, 2014
A new Public Policy Forum report issued today examines the success of the Milwaukee's Menomonee River Valley's development and its potential for the future.
Published Sept. 21, 2014
This week, OnMilwaukee.com asked the Social Circle to answer the biggest question of all.
Published Sept. 20, 2014
You can see and feel the change of seasons. Fall color is starting to appear. Pansies, mums and asters are in the garden center, and your thoughts are turning to preparing your landscape for winter.
Published Sept. 19, 2014
Clear Water Outdoor will move into the former Cranston space, 250 N. Water St.
Published Sept. 19, 2014
Libby's Lounge, a bar and grill located at 1682 N. Van Buren St., has closed.
Published Sept. 18, 2014
Welcome to this week's edition of #WeWant - a collection of some things we love!
Published Sept. 17, 2014
The Malt Shoppe - a store that sells bottles and growlers of beer, along with specialty glassware - opens Friday, Oct. 24 at 813 N. Mayfair Rd. in Wauwatosa.
Published Sept. 17, 2014
This afternoon, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced that lights along the lakefront will get an LED lightbulb facelift.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
This afternoon, Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee's free and local food bank, announced a new partnership with SWARMM Events. The new partnership includes a commitment from SWARMM Events to donate a minimum of $25,000 to Hunger Task Force over the next year.
Published Sept. 15, 2014
The Wells Street bridge in Downtown Milwaukee will remain closed at least through tomorrow, Sept. 16, and most likely several days after.