Good for age 9 and younger, and not much for anybody older and without child. Ice Age: Continental Drift has a dependable worldwide market and a dependable formula and it sticks to that like dry ice. Four of these movies have chiseled the glacier since 2002, and it’s fair enough to expect number five and six to be on their way. Joining Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo, Seann William Scott and Queen Latifah are a few new castmates: Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes and Peter Dinklage as Captain Gutt. It was harmless most of the way, but I cringed at the mammoth teens who talked like valley girls. Optional accompaniment with a worthless 3D presentation.
Scrat, the obsessive-compulsive squirrel, loses his acorn down in endless abyss in the opening scenes, and ends up running like a treadmill at the magnetic ball of Earth’s middle core, setting off seismic waves that split up the continents in one catastrophic divide. Funny enough, but with all the collective “Ice Age” movies – which seem to collide together in memory at this point – made me feel like I’ve actually seen this scene somewhere before. Or it could have been a short that accompanied another franchise movie.
So my memory is musty, or musky, but I do believe this is the first one that features pirates as antagonists, i.e., behold Captain Gutt. Considering it’s a world without money, I’m not exactly what seafaring filibusters have to gain at this point in time. But it might be scary to the 3 or 4-year old youngsters in the audience for a few fleeting seconds in the scene where Captain Gutt ties up our innocent heroes and snarls mean-pirate threats at them (the threats are impractical, slurring).
For the youngsters that haven’t seen too many movies, they will however be gripped by a theme that has become residual to us: reconnecting with lost family lost on opposite coasts. The gang gets their way back home through some ice-gliding adventures, and Diego the sabor-toothed cat voiced by Leary gets to purr with a female this time, voiced by Lopez.
But adults out there, please… isn’t Wanda Sykes annoying as that natty, senile grandma? I can handle a number five of this franchise. But I do hope they drop the annoying surplus personalities, starting with her.
Preceded by a very funny short of “The Simpsons” following the travails of little Maggie at pre-school.
94 Minutes. Rated PG.
FAMILY MOVIE / GOOFY / WEEKEND MORNING MOVIE
Film Cousins: “Ice Age” (2002); “Ice Age: Meltdown” (2006); “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009); “Pirates: Band of Misfits” (2012).