Michael Berg

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Ice Age: Collision Course Review

Good

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As before, it's the zippy writing, lively vocal work and colourful animation that hold the interest. The story is merely a framework on which the cast and crew can hang a series of rapid-fire jokes, pop culture references and nonsensical action sequences. And it's still mindless fun.

After their previous escapades, the expanding herd of prehistoric critters is living a happy life together, thinking about love. Mammoths Manny and Ellis (voiced by Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) are struggling with the idea that their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) has fallen for the too-cheerful Julius (Adam Devine). Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) has just been dumped and feels like he'll never find a partner. And tigers Diego and Shira (Denis Leary and Jennifer Lopez) worry that their violent nature will make them terrible parents. Then suddenly there's a bigger issue to worry about: a giant asteroid is heading for Earth, threatening them with extinction. With the help of nutty weasel Buck (Simon Pegg), they come up with an idea to save the planet. They also discover a magical place called Geotopia, ruled by the groovy Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson).

Yes, the plot is utterly insane, especially as it is driven by the antics of franchise star Scrat, who discovers a flying saucer in the ice, activates it and heads into space, where his acorn-hunting antics trigger all sorts of mayhem back on Earth. But then this series has never had anything to do with science or biology, throwing random animals together (the dinosaurs make another appearance) for comical value while cranking up whatever suspense the writers can think of to add some momentum. They also of course pack scenes with sweet "family values" moments, plus a sideswipe at climate change deniers who refuse to acknowledge the possibility of impending doom.

Continue reading: Ice Age: Collision Course Review

Ice Age: Continental Drift Review


Very Good
Very early on, this series completely jettisoned any respect for science, gleefully ignoring the laws of gravity end geology to carry on the family-friendly series of dangers encountered by this growing herd of misfit semi-prehistoric creatures. It's not very clever, but it's still good fun.

When the ice shelf suddenly cracks in two, mammoth Manny (Romano) finds himself adrift with sabre-tooth Diego (Leary), sloth Sid (Leguizamo) and Sid's toothless granny (Sykes). But as they attempt to get home, they're waylaid by a pirated iceberg sailed by Captain Gutt (Dinklage) and his scurvy crew.

Meanwhile, Manny's wife Ellie (Latifah) and their mildly rebellious daughter Peaches (Palmer) are trying to outrun the shifting continental plates. And the film's real star Scrat is on a hunt for a hidden acorn treasure.

Continue reading: Ice Age: Continental Drift Review

Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Review


Very Good
A slightly more adventurous story breaks the trequel curse: this film is actually better than its predecessors. In addition to astoundingly eye-catching animation, this one also has a driving (albeit corny) narrative and some snappy new characters.

Mammoth Manny (voiced by Romano) is so preoccupied with the pregnancy of his mate Ellie (Latifah) that he hasn't noticed that his sabre-tooth pal Diego (Leary) is thinking of leaving to regain his mojo. Meanwhile, goofy sloth Sid (Leguizamo) wants a family of his own. So when he finds three eggs in a cavern, he decides to raise the hatchling dinosaurs as his own. Then their T-rex mother arrives, taking them and Sid into a lost underground world populated by dinosaurs, hungry plants and a swashbuckling eye-patched weasel named Buck (Pegg).

Continue reading: Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Review

Ice Age Review


OK
Only in the unique cosmology of animation do we find a world where animals can talk... and humans cannot.

Ice Age is in many ways the archetypal animated flick - updated for the computer era, of course. It's a road trip populated by quirky and mismatched characters, all on an unlikely quest that they'll never complete unless they somehow manage to work together. Ray Romano voices a burly mammoth named Manfred, who stumbles upon a lost human baby (well, homo erectus at least) shortly after rescuing a useless sloth (John Leguizamo). Manfred is content to leave the thing alone, but along comes a saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) intent on taking the baby back to his pack as vengeance for his brethren killed by human hunters. Unable to convince himself to leave the baby to the tiger (who claims he will return it to the humans), Manfred and co. all venture out together as part of an uneasy alliance... while the tiger schemes to lure Manfred into a trap where he may become dinner for a hungry pack of tigers back home.

Continue reading: Ice Age Review

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Michael Berg Movies

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Ice Age: Continental Drift Movie Review

Ice Age: Continental Drift Movie Review

Very early on, this series completely jettisoned any respect for science, gleefully ignoring the laws...

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Movie Review

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Movie Review

A slightly more adventurous story breaks the trequel curse: this film is actually better than...

Ice Age Movie Review

Ice Age Movie Review

Only in the unique cosmology of animation do we find a world where animals can...

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