‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ Review: Fifth Time Ain’t the Charm

'Ice Age: Collision Course'

Movie Rating:


The fifth movie in the ‘Ice Age’ franchise, ‘Collision Course’… Wait a minute… I need to pause for a second. The FIFTH ‘Ice Age’ movie since 2002?! How did that happen?!

Sure, these movies make money, but do people actually like them enough to justify four sequels? Is there really that much story to tell? Is anyone involved in the series actually passionate enough about ‘Ice Age’ mythology that they feel the need to extend this story to nearly a dozen hours? The latest entry feels a little played out, as if the filmmakers are lost for ideas and just going through the motions. I’m sure that’ll come as a shock to you, but alas it’s true. Seriously though, FIVE ‘ICE AGE’ MOVIES?! I think I need a drink.

Anyway, this time the filmmakers send that adorable li’l Scrat chasing an acorn into outer space (yup, for real), which causes a meteor to fall towards Earth, possibly causing the apocalypse. As a result, the whole ‘Ice Age’ cast are forced to walk a long distance to do something or other to stop it and meet up with new stuffed-animal-friendly characters along the way. So, you’ll once again get to see Sloth (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary) and Manny (Ray Romano) getting up to their old arguing shtick. Simon Pegg’s Buck is back as well and even more irritating than before. Plus, Manny’s daughter wants to get married and daddy doesn’t approve, because that’ll eat up some screen time. Pop singer Jessie J shows up as a hippie sloth, because why not? The whole lumbering monstrosity then lurches along through a series of bad puns and musical interludes, possibly becoming the first time in history that audiences will actually wish for the apocalypse to hit.

That sounds mean, but it’s accurate. This ramshackle group of prehistoric characters having been dodging natural disasters that should have wiped them off of the face of the Earth for so long now that you can’t help but wish it would finally just happen. The original movie was a moderately entertaining distraction, but it’s been all downhill from there and getting progressively worse with each outing (despite no real dip in the box office tallies). By Part 2, there was essentially no narrative and the ‘Ice Age’ movies became a string of lame CGI slapstick sequences and brutal pun-laden dialogue delivered by celebrities who can barely contain their contempt for the material. The passionless series continued purely because the character designs were cute, the jokes were simple enough that children who can’t yet grasp language will get it, and… you know… merchandising opportunities.

There’s an extra sense of desperation to ‘Collision Course’, though. The writers, producers, and directors assigned this unfortunate project really had nowhere to go. The whole thing has the distinct feeling of a long delayed direct-to-video sequel that somehow made it to the big screen. It’s tough to sit through, exhausting really. Even the ‘Looney Tunes’-style silent comedy of lil’ Scrat has lost all appeal. This is the sort of animated movie that parents dread taking their children to, a pandering mess of bright colors, repetition and time-killing that sits on the back of previous successes with absolutely nothing to add. Not even the animation is particularly impressive. It feels like a rushed job, as if the folks at Blue Sky and Fox Animation realized a deadline was looming and then just started recording lines and rendering scenes based on a story scribbled on their hands while racing to the studio in the morning.

It’s honestly a bit insulting to sit through this mess, particularly in a summer that already delivered the infinitely more enjoyable ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ and ‘Finding Dory’. God-willing this will be the last ‘Ice Age’ movie. Then again, I thought that about the previous three sequels as well.

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