Film Review: Ice Age: Collision Course

Is it possible that hell has to freeze over before we see the end of the 'Ice Age' movie franchise? Or will this silly, repetitive and often boring fifth installment put an end to it?
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The animated, 3D Ice Age movies are made for children, of course, and since the first one appeared in 2002, they have been incredibly popular with succeeding generations of little ones—although probably not so much with their parents or other adult guardians who have to shell out for the tickets and popcorn. So, for the kiddies it will matter little that Ice Age: Collision Course is such a teeth-jarring, clanging mishmash of a movie; only the poor adult viewers may be unnerved that every time this new plot, such as it is, slows down a little (which is often), we go right back to the bing-bang-bong antics of that frantic squirrel named Scrat as, Wile E. Coyote-like, he goes chasing his beloved acorn through the universe and, oh yes, along the way sets off a billiards-like chain reaction that accidentally creates our very own solar system!

Oh, yay!

When we finally focus on what’s happening on the frozen Earth, it seems that Manny, the wooly Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) and his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah) are worrying that their beloved daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) will marry her hip boyfriend Julian (Adam Devine) and then the young couple will move far, far away, causing Manny to really, really miss his little girl. (And the point here is????) Manny and Ellie, of course, have the empathy of their old friends Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), along with his new mate, the slinky Shira (Jennifer Lopez), who was introduced into this species-diverse, prehistoric crew in 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, their last go-round.

Meanwhile, a far bigger crisis is brewing in this ice-covered land, for it seems that Scrat, who’s still skittering around the universe, has accidentally set off another chain reaction (or maybe the same one, who knows?) causing a meteor shower that’s sending a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth—potentially creating an environmental catastrophe that could destroy all life on the planet! Maybe there’s a way out, however, or so says Buck (Simon Pegg), a British weasel who claims he knows how exactly how to save the Earth from total destruction, (So where was he when Brexit came hurtling down?) Anyway, from then on all the aforementioned thinking-and-talking Paleolithic creatures we’ve come to know (and love or loathe, take your pick) decide to pool their resources to save the planet for the rest of us.

Okay, there are some good bits: The clueless twin opossums Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott and Josh Peck) provide a few giggles, and a new character, Neal deBuck Weasel (voiced by Neil deGrasse Tyson with his usual good humor), pops up to explain the fragility of the universe, and what happens when just one little thing goes awry. The Tyson avatar is brought back for an epilogue—well after the film’s end-credits have scrolled by—to remind us all, in case we’ve missed the point, that there are, indeed, very scary things out there.

Just what the kiddies want to hear as they snuggle up with their Manny the Mammoth dolls for a peaceful night’s sleep.

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