Film Review: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Ice Age, prior to the release of its needless fourth installment, was already the weakest of the major animated franchises. If you thought the final Shrek film was terrible, try watching Ice Age 3. Better yet, try watching Ice Age: Continental Drift (which will be referred to as Ice Age 4 because the title is far too long to keep repeating).
What’s immediately awful about Ice Age 4 is not its uncharming, unchallenging, lacklustre script, but the almost unforgivable laziness of the animation. For a film that has been released in both 2D and 3D, the attention to detail (especially in regards to 3D rendering) is nothing short of shocking. In fact, it would be hard not to argue that the film looks unfinished. Like when a band shares a demo of a new song prior to officially releasing the album version? Imagine that, but in the form of a very bad film.
The yawn-worthy animation aside, Ice Age 4 offers absolutely nothing in the story department either. While animated family films used to cater for both the little’uns and their accompanying guardians, Ice Age 4 seems to be motivated by the idea that children are completely stupid, and that because of their lack of intellect can only be in any way engaged through bright colours, silly faces and bodily function gags. It’s almost insulting to parents that they should have to shell out their hard earned cash for ‘entertainment’ that is so critically unrewarding.
Over the course of the film, the now exhausted rag-tag team of Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) are separated from their families via a series of massive seismic shifts. They stumble across some pirates (?) (led by a villainous monkey voiced by Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage) and some treacherous sirens, but predictably find their way back to each other 94 long minutes later. This lifeless plot is entirely inoffensive though compared to the pointless secondary characters who allegedly support it. About halfway through this cinematic tragedy, you will notice that one of the sabre tooth tigers is voiced by none other than former celebrity Jennifer Lopez. And if you don’t happen to recognise her smooth Latin voice, fear not. She is heavily featured in an emotionless musical number during the end credits in which all the voice actors are featured in their respective vocal booths belting out a chorus about the importance of family and sticking together or something.
If Lopez’s uselessness wasn’t enough, the kids still have Nicki Minaj to fall back on. As a crude member of a gang of teenage mammoths who are all questionably racially stereotyped, 20th Century Fox chose to cast one of the most vulgar, distasteful wastes of oxygen to ever exist in a film that is supposed to be suitable for all audiences. Parents, take offence. The woman is a misandrist. She sells records that outline her desire to urinate on ‘hoes’ with male genitalia she doesn’t possess in a way that suggests that females are incapable of urinating. If that last sentence sounded ridiculous, treat yourself to a Nicki Minaj album the next time you find yourself on iTunes.
A thoroughly horrific waste of time, if it weren’t for Scrat’s invaluable (and genuinely hilarious) moments on screen, Ice Age: Continental Drift would become the easiest film this year to walk out of before the end. Still, he’s only ever been treated to two three-minute shorts of his own. Go figure.