The first three installments of the Ice Age franchise have collectively made over $500 million at the US box office, so this fourth venture is already set to be a success. But Continental Drift has had a somewhat staggered release in the UK, with scattered previews finally leading to general release on Friday 13 July.
When land masses start to break up, mammoth Manny becomes separated from his wife, Ellie, and daughter, Peaches. Adrift on a floating iceberg with long term pals Sid the sloth and Diego the saber, Manny heads up the plan to find his family. But the gang run into trouble when they meet a pirate ship captained by Gutt, a dangerous pre-historic Gorilla. Meanwhile Scrat continues to search for that beloved acorn.
All of this makes for pretty standard Ice Age fare that’s in-keeping with previous offerings. But the dialogue is obvious and the relationships between the characters are stereotypical and boring. Time has jumped forward since Dawn Of The Dinosaurs and Peaches is now almost grown up, stereotyped as a troublesome teenager who wants more freedom. Teemed with an obnoxious teenage posse, Peaches and her crush, Ethan, show that the Ice Age team have not lost their knack for creating annoying characters. Sid the sloth also continues to be on his usual, sweetly irritating form but this time brings another irksome family member to the team in the form of Granny.
On the plus side, Scrat’s story is more interesting than in previous films. This time his hunt for the perfect acorn leads him to a secret map and the pursuit of hidden acorn treasure. The pay-off for this series of Scrat-meets-acorn shorts is well worth it.
There’s simply not enough depth in the story or the characters to make this film special
Unfortunately, Ice Age remains a series that is more suited to children than adults. If you’re taking a child to see this movie with you, you’re much more likely to enjoy it. Continental Drift has plenty of action to keep it’s audience entertained and a few cute additions that will make you smile – including a band of pre-historic guinea pigs – but there’s simply not enough depth in the story or the characters to make this film special.
Of course none of Ice Age really makes much sense and here the continents are created by Scrat falling into a crack in the earth and rotating the earth’s core. But Ice Age fully plays on it’s ridiculous take on pre-history with Sid telling Granny, ‘we fought dinosaurs in the ice age – it didn’t make a lot of sense but it sure was exciting’. Sadly the same can’t be said for this latest installment.