July 9, 2012 2 Comments
Directed by Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier. Starring Ray Romano, Aziz Ansari, Joy Behar, Peter Dinklage, Aubrey Graham, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Heather Morris, Seann William Scott.
On its fourth outing the saga begins to feel a little bit tired, the formula is wearing slightly thin and as the subtlety and freshness are obviously long gone, it all begins to merge into one.
There is nothing really wrong with Continental Drift, but for the first time I felt slightly too old for this type of fare and I almost wished I had a child with me so that I could enjoy the film a lot more than I really did.
The film starts off with the wrong foot straight away, introducing us to so many different characters that at some point I thought I was going to get lost. It’s obviously trying to pull together all the threads from the various earlier episodes, but by doing that not only it delays the actual story, but also it makes it feel clunky, chaotic, crowded and a bit confusing, and given its target audience that is inexcusable (you may argue that the target audience probably watch the previous parts almost daily on DVD and they are not lost at all…).
However once the plot gets going, it all runs quite smoothly, without too many surprises but also without anything offensive or boring.
This is old-style storytelling for kids and there is nothing wrong with that. The baddie is vicious enough, the hero is brave, the music is fitting for the adventure it’s depicting, and just in case you get bored, you can always count on the interludes with Scrat (though, I must say, even those felt slightly re-hashed from the past).
The animation has advanced a bit from the previous instalments, but it’s in the details more than the actual design and film-making. And while the 3D, as in most animated films, works rather well,in the end it’s just as un-memorable and unimaginative as the rest of the ride.
But I shouldn’t really criticise it: I guess this is what people want from an Ice Age movie: the familiarity, the cosy feeling that comes being together with some old friends, the easy laughs (fewer out-loud ones I must say), the cute animals and at the end of the day even if you feel you’ve seen it all before, your kids will probably love it.