Ice Age: Collision Course [sigh]

Man, the continuity of the Ice Age films don’t make any sense. I mean, the latest film, Collision Course, opens with a scene that seems to imply that Scrat, the funny little sabre-toothed squirrel that is always chasing that indomitable acorn, accidentally set the whole solar system into place, gave the earth its moon, and even ignited the sun!! Are you trying to tell me that the previous four Ice Age movies took place on an earth that was orbiting a dead sun? Come on, that makes no sense…

Sigh.

Yes, I saw Ice Age: Collision Course. In the theatre. On purpose.

My idea had been to go see Star Trek Beyond, but somehow a date with my wife became a family outing, and by a vote of 2-0 with one abstention my sequel-hungry children opted to see Collision Course over The Secret Life of Pets.

Sigh, again.

I’ve never been the biggest Ice Age fan. The movies have provided some laughs, and been diverting at their best, but nothing you’d call special. Collision Course is more of the same, except more tiresome. And maybe a little more cheap feeling, especially since it turns out that that opening sequence was actually a repurposed short film that was released last year.

Although I guess I’m not much of an expert. I barely remember Ice Ages 2 or4, so really, I’m just saying that the current Ice Age 5 is a let down after Part 3, which I’d have to consider entertainment zenith of the series, thanks in part to presence of Simon Pegg as the voice of Reepicheep…err, I mean, Buck the crazy weasel

Part of the problem, I guess, is that the cast of characters is becoming unruly in its size. From the beginning, this franchise was about forming a family (or a herd, as they say) out of whatever strange lot creatures you found yourself thrown together with. The first movie captured this idea fairly well with its story of a mammoth, a sabre-tooth tiger and a sloth becoming surrogate parents for a human child. Since then, the group has expanded to include three other mammoths, another tiger, two possums, a crazy weasel and his adopted pumpkin, and a sassy granny sloth played, predictably, by Wanda Sykes.

As a result, the franchise now has more of a sit-com vibe to it, with a bit of soap opera thrown into it. The latest offering is all about Manny the Mammoth and his mate Ellie dealing with the fact that their baby Peaches is now grown up, about to get married, and move away. It’s made worse by the fact that Peach’s fiancé is not the sort of guy that Manny particularly approves of, ie he isn’t a good hockey player and he doesn’t have a lot of clear direction in life. Fortunately, Manny is able to loosen up in his fatherly stodginess long enough to allow the kid to help save the world from a giant meteor that is being magnetically drawn to the earth.

Oh, that’s right. There’s this plot about a giant asteroid that is heading to earth to destroy it, but our heroes find out about it because old Buck the crazy survivalist weasel reads some hieroglyphs carved into a stone obelisk that he finds in a buried alien spaceship which predict this event. It’s on this backdrop that we have Manny working through his family dramas, some stuff with Sid looking for his true love, and a few moments of Diego and his mate pondering whether they should have children.

Oh well. Really, none of this should matter, right? We’re talking about Ice Age. If it’s a breezy adventure romp with some good visual humor and just the right touch of heart, who cares if the plot is silly? And as one of the adults in the audience, that’s where the film is lacking. There are a few laughs here and there, and the touch of heart feels awkwardly injected into the mayhem.

On the other hand, all three of my daughters (who now range between 10-13 years old) enjoyed the film a lot, and I’m happy that they’re happy.

Still going to get out there to see the new Star Trek film tonight, though.

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