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 Dec. 8, 2013
This week, we asked the Social Circle if it thought celebrating St. Nick was excessive considering Hanukkah and Christmas and other December gift-focused holidays. What are your thoughts on the other jolly ol' chap?
Published Dec. 7, 2013
It's a loaded set of recommendations this week from OnMilwaukee, featuring everything from sporting events to soulful folk songs to fun with fungi and Fischberger's.
Published Dec. 5, 2013
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.'s Chairman of the Board, Ted Kellner, announced today that Summerfest 2013 created a positive economic impact of $226 million for the State of Wisconsin, including $187 million for the City of Milwaukee.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
It's the playoffs, and you're feeling good about it. But maybe you've got that guy stashed on your bench that might be poised for a breakout, or is a coin flip with another starter on your squad, or you're playing the team with Peyton Manning this week. Well, we're here to help you with who to go with if you're looking for maximum points this week.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
Shampriel Morrise, an 11th grade voice major student at Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA), was one of 700 young artists selected from more than 10,000 applicants across the nation to receive the YoungArts Merit Award.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
It's Christmas time, and that means it's time for cinemas and televisions across the nation to overdose on holiday specials. There are seemingly hundreds of Christmas movies scattered across the entertainment world come November and December. Some are silly. Some are serious. Almost are sappy. But a few manage to become true classics, beloved for years. Here are the OnMilwaukee.com staff's personal favorites.
Published Dec. 2, 2013
These new transit features will be available to view on Thursday, Dec. 5, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the MCTS Fleet Maintenance Building, located at 1525 W. Vine St.
Published Dec. 1, 2013
Six holiday seasons ago, we wrote about Jeff Gelder's "Holiday Magic" CD series, which brings stories and holiday cheer to kids spending the holidays in the hospital. This year, 150 copies are headed to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
Published Dec. 1, 2013
'Tis the season of people camping out in front of box stores to score big deals on holiday gifts. For some, this makes sense and is even a good time. For others, it's unthinkable. Have you ever camped out for anything?
Published Nov. 30, 2013
Take a dash of sideburn maintenance, a pinch of sleep help, a smidge of Steven Soderbergh and a splash of H2O, and you've got a recipe for this week's OnMilwaukee recommendations.