Pauls Valley Democrat
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
There are some days when I would like to sit around the brainstorming tables for Hollywood’s most milked and beaten to death ideas, just in case I witness the one moment when they decide they can’t squeeze audiences anymore. This was one franchise I did not rule out seeing a fourth entry entirely, but as I expected, going past the third only felt like the real entertainment value just wasn’t going to be captured again.
Yes, I’ll admit it’s hard to say no to a certain saber-toothed bad luck squirrel and that was pretty much the deciding factor, but it seems the so called main story isn’t even necessary at this point anymore. There were times when I still had a good laugh outside acorn related antics, but for the most part it felt like this is treading into the “Power Rangers” or “Land Before Time” dried up well territory. “Ice Age: Continental Drift” will certainly win over big for the youngest audiences, but might wear thin on those who loved the first two chapters.
The story jumps ahead a number of years after “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” with our mammoth couple Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) not only dealing with the regular antics of those like Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo), but their teenage rebel of a daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer). Manny’s had just about enough of her attitude and obsession with pretty boy sloth Ethan (Drake Graham) when the entire continent of Pangaea takes a Scrat (Chris Wedge) turn for the worse.
Despite their best efforts to stay together during the land breakup, Manny, Diego, Sid and his visiting grandmother Granny (Wanda Sykes) are separated from the rest of the herd by an ice sheet that drifts them out to sea. Before they can ever see their loved ones again they must first find out how to get home, battle pirates like a prehistoric ape named Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) and a female saber cat named Shira (Jennifer Lopez) as well as see if Scrat can finally find that bit of acorn happiness he’s been seeking all along. Despite all that going on, it does actually flow pretty well even if the gags do drag on a bit longer than necessary.
After it was all over I don’t regret adding it to the summer flick list, but I won’t be in a hurry to see it again or add it to my first two films collection. The main factor leading toward this is a lot of been there and done that with some fresh spins, but with little pizzazz outside of Scratlantis.
I will admit I also still enjoy how Sid annoys the rest of the crew with his dimwit misunderstandings, but it all the best moments would have been much fresher if they hadn’t revealed them all in the trailers. This pretty much counts it out of the awards season with “Brave” and “Madagascar 3” being the early favorites on the animation front. This earns “Ice Age: Continental Drift” two and a half out of five extinctions.
Movie viewing courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.