Ice Age: Collision Course

 

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Creatively, 20th Century Fox is on thin ice with this chaotic, anything-goes addition to the Pleistocene franchise.

 
Ice Age: Collision Course

 

One would have thought that to segue into the fifth instalment of any franchise, somebody must have come up with a very special, even ingenious idea. Unfortunately, what 20th Century Fox describes as the “defining chapter” in their animated meal ticket isn’t so much an anything-goes stream of consciousness as a revenue stream of desperation. Here, the Pleistocene, merchandise-friendly woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, ground sloths and the epoch’s most irritating weasel are side-lined by a welter of additional trappings from flying saucers and teleportation booths to Daleks and unicorns. Really? When the aforementioned weasel Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg) adopts a pumpkin as his baby – with the ground sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) wondering what sex the squash is – you know that the franchise has lost the plot.

 

What plot there is involves Scrat, the sabre-toothed squirrel, who, in his increasing impetuosity to secure his wretched acorn, kicks off a cosmic cataclysm that not only bestows our planet with its first satellite – the moon – but precipitates the impending destruction of all life on earth. And while all this is going on, the mammoths Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are coming to terms with the fact that their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) has found herself a mate, Julian (Adam DeVine), and is planning to leave home. Here, there be collisions of both parental and inter-planetary varieties.

 

The usual allusions to 2001: A Space Odyssey are duly referenced, and a few new characters introduced to clutter the stage. One such critter is the eyelash-batting Brooke (Jessie J), a sloth who sees romantic potential in Sid and provides the English singer with a chance to provide the number ‘My Superstar’ on the soundtrack. Gosh, it’s all so calculating. As for the experience of watching the film, it’s like being stuck in an elevator with the resident clown who’s had way too many drinks at the office party.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Voices of: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Jessie J, Keke Palmer, Adam DeVine, Wanda Sykes, Nick Offerman, Chris Wedge, Randall Thom.

 

Dir Mike Thurmeier, Pro Lori Forte, Screenplay Michael J. Wilson, Micheal Berg and Yoni Brenner, Ph Renato Falcão, Ed James Palumbo, Music John Debney.

 

Blue Sky Studios/20th Century Fox Animation-20th Century Fox.

94 mins. USA. 2016. Rel: 15 July 2016. Cert. U.