Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Movie Review #471: "Ice Age: Collision Course" (2016)

Movie"Ice Age: Collision Course"
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T. Chu
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
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As a giant meteor barrels towards Earth, Manny (Ray Romano) and the herd, led by Buck the weasel (Simon Pegg), must venture across the land and execute a plan to divert the meteor before the world is destroyed.

"Ice Age: Collision Course" is the fifth film in Blue Sky's multi-billion dollar franchise that has now spanned 14 years. Its ever-expanding cast includes Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Josh Peck, Seann William Scott, Wanda Sykes, Simon Pegg, and Jennifer Lopez, who are all returning to their roles from the previous films, as well as newcomers Adam Devine, Nick Offerman, Max Greenfield, Stephanie Beatriz, singer Jessie J, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. With more and more characters added each time around, there appears to be less screen time for each individual character, and many of the old school characters have been relegated to little more than 5-20 lines of dialogue in this entire picture. This is especially apparent with marketing tool/screen time waster Scrat, occupying much of his screen time with his Looney Tunes-esque slapstick adventure that is the source of all of the problems that happen within the confines of the film. The plot is the same one we've seen time and time again, just with different circumstances surrounding it and a few new animal characters fleshing out the cast. The herd has to get to a certain place in a certain amount of time or else they are done for. In "Ice Age: The Meltdown," the purpose of the herd was to get to a boat before a flood, and in this installment, the herd must get to the impact point of the previous meteor before the new big burning meteor in the sky hits the planet. Of course, the group is being pursued by some sort of dangerous antagonist looking to hurt or kill them. In the original "Ice Age," it was saber-tooth tigers looking for their next meal. In "The Meltdown," it was the aquatic dinosaurs on the hunt. In the third movie, "Dawn of the Dinosaurs," well, it was giant carnivorous dinosaurs, and in the fourth installment, "Continental Drift," Captain Gutt was the one trying to harm them. This time around, the antagonists are big dino-birds, voiced by Offerman, Greenfield, and Beatriz. At least they are consistent with their plots.

"Ice Age: Collision Course" offers absolutely nothing new to the franchise and is exactly what you might expect from an "Ice Age" film. It's a formulaic family adventure movie that offers the same characters doing the same things and getting into the same situations they have always been in in the past. There's a reason this fifth installment hasn't made much money, about three times less domestically when compared to the other films in the franchise: the novelty of this series has completely worn off. With the occasional joke that lands, usually ones spoken by Pegg's Buck or Sykes' Granny, there's not even enough humor in "Collision Course" to keep its target audience interested and engaged, let alone two single adult persons going to an "Ice Age" movie on a Wednesday morning in the name of the review. Though we are probably the last people to review this film, our screening still had quite a few kids in it, and there were almost zero collective reactions to anything that happened within the context of the story. For every joke that hits its intended mark, there are at least 3-7 that are just as bad, if not even more cringe-worthy. At this point, it's clear Blue Sky Studios is trying to squeeze every drop of money they can out of their most successful franchise before everyone loses interest...which is right about now. Even actors from the other installments in this series have gotten the message: this franchise is a sinking ship. Josh Gad was smart, he went and got that Disney money.

My Rating: 4.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 11%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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