Film: “Ice Age: Collision Course”; Co-directors: Michael Thurmeier and Galen Tan Chu; Voiceovers: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Devine, Keke Palmer, Max Greengield, Jessie J, Jessie Tyler Ferguson, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott and Wanda Sykes; Rating: **1/2
The film is sure to keep young minds occupied during most of its 95-minute duration. But honestly, would children know the meaning of Geotopia? Or even bother to know why life didn’t exist on Mars?
These questions are mentioned in “Ice Age: Collision Course”, but are not dwelt upon in detail, making you feel lost in a universe full of interesting characters stuck in a half-baked and chaotic plot.
The plot is fragile, ice-thin which propels nearly 20 minutes after the narration begins, with the squirrel Scrat (chasing his elusive acorn and unleashing chaos), this time at the cosmic level. His actions make asteroids and planets collide. This results in a meteorite rain that threatens to extinguish the mammals that inhabit the Earth.
On the Earth, Peaches (Keke Palmer), the woolly mammoth, daughter of Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) is now grown up and is ready to get married to Julian (Adam Devine). Manny and Ellie, being over sensitive and wary parents, are worried about her move.
At the same time, Sid (John Leguizamo) – the sloth, is dumped by his girlfriend, Francine (Melissa Rauch), just as he is about to propose to her. Also there is Buck (Simon Pegg), the one-eyed weasel, who fights the family of feathered dinosaurs to return a dinosaur egg to its mother.
It is during Manny and Ellie’s wedding anniversary party, that they initially mistake the meteorite rain for fireworks. It is only later when Buck makes them realise that this is a dangerous situation and assures them with, “I have found the prophecy to stop these asteroids”, that they realise the gravity of the situation.
It is only after one of the many characters scream, “stay close, stay alive”, that the thrill of the adventure sets in.
The other mammals featured include; Diego (Denis Leary) the saber tooth tiger and his wife Shira (Jennifer Lopez), Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) – the two opossums.
Apart from them, the film features; Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) the yoga-loving spiritual leader of Geotopia, Brooke (Jessie J) the ground sloth who resides in Geotopia and Sid’s grandmother – Granny (Wanda Sykes).
The voices of the ace star cast perfectly match with that of the characters. The sound tracks which include the song, aptly fits into the narration.
And of course, there is a certain visual appeal to the film. The animation and the setting, which are painstakingly created are picture-perfect.
The characters are cute and colourful. Each one of them is distinct and attractive. Humour comes in the form of conversational banter and physical comedy.
But unfortunately, the script written by Michael J. Wilson, Micheal Berg and Yoni Brenner, though packed with some worthwhile messages, and some good laughs, is simply busting with excess characters.
Also, the sub-plots are clearly disjointed. It breaks the momentum of the narration, making the entire plot seem like a meandering, convoluted exercise, which is predictable, perfunctory and staid.
Overall, this instalment of “Ice Age” which is the fifth in the series, offers bland fun as a family-aimed animated feature. The franchise seems to be over stretching its stay.