Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ice Age 4

New Movie Release
The film-makers ran 
out of fresh ideas 
after Ice Age 2

...and it shows

There was a time, long, long ago (2002) when Blue Sky Studios gave us a film called Ice Age that was highly enjoyable for children and their parents. 

My daughter was 4 at the time, and I'm not sure who laughed more...her or I. Ice Age was as good as Shrek, but without the sexual references.

Those days, sadly, are behind us now.

To be honest, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, still had the spark and humor of the first film in the franchise. That was 2006.

But then - in 2009 - came Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs....and things went off the rails. And there was something I never understood. 

We all know mankind came along after the age of dinosaurs, right? 

But in the first movie the entire premise is a band of misfit animals - a woolly mammoth, a sloth and a saber-tooth tiger - save a child and return the toddler to his tribe. 

So, Ice Age 3 steps up with an AK-47 and basically machine guns down the premise of the first two movies? WTF?

Indeed, Ice Age 3 was a very weak film, and I didn't think things could get any worse.

But they did.

Ice Age 4 is making a lot of money, which will encourage Blue Sky to make a fifth installment. This is unfortunate.

I used to have a theory about awesome CGI productions. The theory went that when the voice actors played off each other in a recording studio, the resulting film would be better for it. 

An example would be Monsters, Inc., and the fact that Pixar put Billy Crystal and John Goodman together and let them ham it up. The result? An utterly fantastic film.

My theory went out the window, however, with the first Ice Age

John Leguizamo commented that he hadn't even met Denis Leary. They recorded their lines in completely different cities. This goes farther with the awesome TV show Archer, another example of voice actors saying their lines without meeting one another.

With Ice Age 4, though, my theory - wrong as it may be - is back with a vengeance.

Ray Romano in the studio

Peter Dinklage, absolutely incredible in Game of Thrones, adds nothing to the character Captain Gutt, a pirate in this film because...why the hell not? 

And it gets worse...when he and Jennifer Lopez break out in song....well, I nearly walked out of the theater.

The rest of the voice actors - especially Ray Romano and Denis Leary - speak their lines without conviction and manage to sound a little embarrassed.

Wanda Sykes character as the grandma sloth seems out of place as an animal with dementia, and she is treated rather poorly by the other characters.

I think what bothered me most is the complete lack of plot, which seems to have been forgotten - along with the humor. 

I am sorry to say that I didn't smile once while watching this movie, and this coming from a big fan of the first two Ice Age flicks. 

All of the cleverness thought up for the first two films has...evaporated. Gone. Poof.

It seems that the film-makers have given up, and are only targeting very, very young children. 

Yes, it may seem I am being overly harsh, after all, this is a production geared toward kids. But do you know why I didn't describe the story-line for Ice Age 4

Because there isn't one. It's that simple.

Go back and look at my one-paragraph description of the first Ice Age. I literally can't do that for the fourth installment. 

If I was forced to describe this flick at gunpoint, I suppose Ice Age 4 is about Manny, Sid and Diego getting trapped on a block of ice and harassed by dumbass pirates who really serve no purpose other than to fill in running-time.

Err...and that's all I got.

Your 3-year-old will be enthralled by the mindless, never-ending action of Ice Age 4. Will you?

Not so much.

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