For the fifth time, Manny, Diego, and Sid are setting off on an adventure, and Ice Age: Collision Course is promising to be the most epic entry in the series yet. With asteroids, evil predators, and Scrat's journey through the formation of the galaxy, there is tons of adventure to be had. And where there's animated adventure, there's the possibility of some visually impressive imagery being splashed across the screen.
So naturally, seeing as Ice Age: Collision Course is an animated would-be blockbuster, being released in the heat of summer, there's a 3D version that's begging for your extra movie cash! Now while we won't be judging whether the film lives up to its promises or not here, we will be judging how good that 3D presentation of the film is. If you're looking for a critical review of the film's content, then click over here for our official review. With that out of the way, it's time to ask one of our favorite questions here at CinemaBlend: To 3D, or Not To 3D?
Animated films are an easy fit for 3D presentations, seeing as they're not only easily manipulated, but the material presented usually lends itself to thrilling the audience with well placed sight gags. So Ice Age: Collision Course conceptually fits the 3D mold about as well as a hand fits a glove. Scrat's physical comedy antics alone would be worth the 3D planning, but seeing as the Ice Age films tend to have some larger than life action included in their main plot lines, there's always the possibility that something exciting could fly into the audience.
Ice Age has been a 3D franchise since its third entry, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, so bringing Ice Age: Collision Course to the third dimension was a no-brainer. Unfortunately, no-brainer is pretty much the description of the effort used in presenting the film in 3D. While there's some spectacle that manages to surprise the viewer's eyes, it's not enough to impress the audience into thinking the film must be seen in 3D.
Perhaps the most impressive piece of Ice Age: Collision Course's 3D presentation is what we call the "Before The Window" factor. This is where the film tries to fling objects off the screen, both through action and depth perception in the environments that are being shown off. Right from the opening, the Scrat prologue and the ensuing meteor shower that results from it are perfect showcases for how the film projects its 3D presentation into the audience. Explosions, their resulting debris, and even some wedding day set design elements all stick out of the screen for all to enjoy throughout the rest of the film.
The "Beyond The Window" factor, unfortunately, doesn't match the excitement of its inversely aimed counterpart. In fact, besides one particularly inspired sequence towards the end of the film, involving Scrat and an endless hallway, there isn't a ton of depth to the elements on display in Ice Age: Collision Course. There's standard level spatial reasoning that separates characters from each other, and conveys a basic level of depth, but you're not going to get lost in these images.
If there's one consistent complaint when it comes to the 3D presentation of any film utilizing its visual flare, it has to be that the brightness is too dark. Now, your mileage may vary, as the projector your local theater is using may not be properly calibrated. But in the screening that was offered for review, the brightness was only slightly darker than what the image looked like without the 3D glasses on. There's still plenty of color and life to be had in Ice Age: Collision Course's visual presentation.
Much like the "Beyond The Window" factor in the film, the blurriness of Ice Age: Collision Course's picture is mid-level, at best. If you take your glasses off at most any point of the film, the blur employed to provide depth in the film's picture is not that straining. Of course, this changes during the sequences more involved in playing with depth perception in the film. But for the most part, you're not seeing a lot of blur on the screen throughout the film's content.
You're not going to throw up if you watch Ice Age: Collision Course in 3D, as the ride is pretty standard in its thrills. That having been said, there are a couple fast paced sequences that wonk out a little bit with the 3D treatment. In particular, some scenes involving a pack of high flying baddies are plagued with just a little bit of visual overload, generating a less than desired effect. But other than that, it's a rock solid picture.
Ice Age: Collision Course isn't a total waste of hard drive space, but it's not the 3D glory we've seen from films like Ghostbusters. It has its moments, so a couple extra dollars isn't that harmful. However, if you're not all that thrilled with the 3D gimmick to begin with, or if you're really picky with how you spend your movie-going budget, you can very easily skip this version and see a 2D showing for a cheaper ticket price.
Click to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.