In Kevin Smith's Clerks II, there's a scene where Randall, one of Smith's most iconic characters, derisively described The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a lot of walking, only to drop a ring into a volcano. If he were to sum up the Ice Age films, he'd have basically done the same thing, except he'd still be walking, and there'd be no closure in a ring being destroyed. Indeed, Ice Age: Collision Course is just more of the same for the franchise that spawned it: travel from here to there, make some jokes, and once and awhile check in on Scrat. Suffice it to say, this movie only really serves one purpose: to prove that the franchise needs a swift and sudden ending.
With a series of meteors threatening life as they know it, Manny (Ray Romano,) Diego (Denis Leary,) and Sid (John Leguizamo) must lead their group, including Ellie (Queen Latifah,) Shirah (Jennifer Lopez,) Peaches (Keke Palmer,) and Julian (Adam Devine) to safety. Of course, the road to safety is really a path to danger, as Buck (Simon Pegg) has convinced the team to head to where the largest meteor is supposed to hit, in an effort to somehow avoid their historically dictated fate.
If you're looking for an animated film that tests the boundaries of storytelling in the medium of children's films, then you'd better go see Finding Dory again, as Ice Age: Collision Course is pretty much your standard, all-star kids comedy. With glowing nipples, dangerous yoga contortions, and a marriage subplot that plays it so safe it requires a combination to unlock, you basically know where this film is going at least 20 steps ahead of time. I wish I could say that there's at least enough humor to keep the audience past the age of 6 entertained, but unless you're really hankering for jokes referencing Armageddon, then I really can't say that. In fact, it seems that the Ice Age series has mistaken adding characters to its already hefty dramatis personae as a tactic for making things funnier. As you can tell by the constantly unfunny Crash and Eddie, it's not.
All's not lost though, as there are a couple of bright spots that save Ice Age: Collision Course from itself. Scrat, as per usual, gets some of the funniest gags involving zero dialogue, but a Looney Tunes sensibility. Also, Simon Pegg's Buck continues to be a character that deserves his own spin off, as his adventures and witty repartee are an oasis from the cloying wedding subplot this film contains. And last, but not least, Neil deGrasse Tyson's minuscule cameo kind of makes me wish Fox would commission a Cosmos for Kids series, using his character, Neil deBuck Weasel as the storyteller. But considering Scrat has always been the crutch of the Ice Age series, and the roles of Pegg and Tyson are so small, they can't overcome the crushing pall of unfunny material that makes up the meat of the film.
The fact that Ice Age is on its fifth sequel, and still hasn't resolved itself into an ending, is enough to make you apologize to The Land Before Time franchise for complaining when it crossed the threshold of ten films. It would be best if Fox just feeds this languishing franchise to the nearest predator, in order to give Scrat, Buck, and Neil deBuck Weasel their own buddy comedy. Alas, the chances of this happening are the same as an asteroid wiping out the animated cast of Ice Age: Collision Course, so I wouldn't recommend holding your breath.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
By Mike Reyes
By Mike Reyes
By Dirk Libbey