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    July 13, 2012

    MOVIE REVIEW: ICE AGE 4 CONTINENTAL DRIFT

    ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT (P13)

    Genre: Comedy/Animation/Family
    Release Date: 12 July 2012
    Running Time: 94 minutes
    Distributor: 20th Century Fox
    Director: Steve Martino , Michael Thurmeier
    Screenplay: Michael Berg, Jason Fuchs, Mike Reiss
    Starring: John Leguizamo, Nick Frost, Peter Dinklage, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Sean William Scott, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez

    Plot:  Scrat's nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he's been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences - a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid. In the wake of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his cantankerous Granny, and the herd encounters a ragtag menagerie of seafaring pirates determined to stop them from returning home. REVIEWS AFTER THE JUMP

    Review: Honestly, how do we always get to movie number four in so many franchises nowadays? Spidey just got his fourth last week after they were given a reboot slick; the Fast and Furious even got their fifth one already and is gunning for sixth adventure; and now these lovable prehistoric animals too joining the elite. Elite or not, apparently Fox Studio still have plenty to offer in this fourth Ice Age movie. Since it was first introduced a decade ago, Ice Age has never been the 'giant animation franchise' but its power for cash stash magnet is fully recognizable. Now that Scrat, Manny, Diego and Sid are returning to endure the fourth ice age in the lifetime, again, how will this movie fares among its series? Is this a return of form to the quality scale as in the first two installments or we will instead get another annoying and tiring story like the third one?


    In "Continental Drift", a series of global continental drift occurs (yes, it has something to do with the acorn-obsessed squirrel, Scrat by the way) and causes the family guy mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) to be separated from his family - Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Peaches (Keke Palmer). Along with Diego (Dennis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Sid's Granny (Wanda Sykes), they are adrift on a piece of iceberg wondering how they are able to get back home. Midway in the vast ocean, they meet a group of misfit pirate, led by a vicious primate called Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage); who takes them as hostage and for bully target. The four castaways eventually plan to foil the pirates so that they can escape from captivation and head home.

    This new film directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier does not return the quality back into the first two installments. The formula of plot structure is a familiar one just like the predecessors where intertwining of Scrat’s misadventure with the acorn and the usual stuffs by the Ice Agers is a must. The plot by Michael Berg and the co is relatively weak in conviction but loudly overstuffed with the unnecessary. Then and again, it becomes conveniently made that some elements are predictable. The issues in our mainframe are fairly simple – family fight, family separated, friends stay together, "no enslavement" campaign and finally family reunited. Pretty much of these stuffs have been covered in the recent animation called “Brave” – kind off but we shall just leave the poignancy elements to the right company to do so.


    Perhaps the only good thing about this fourth adventure is that it offers more frantic adventures than the third one. More people screaming their lungs out every time an avalanche or tidal waves splurging to our characters. There are several attempts of joke-making that feels mediocre in effort – still good but not entirely refreshing. Nevertheless, “Continental Drift” keeps on throwing something for you. No dinosaurs; although we have a primate and a kangaroo this time to remind you the evolution involved. Plus some of the routine slapstick will not hurt either like the puking the chewed food gag and the hallucination island are proven to be something worthy to laugh at once in a while. Fortunately, you have the dialogue-free Scrat and his acorn distracting you from been overloaded, time to time.

    Despite having a group of potent voice actors, there are just three characters that are actually enjoyable to watch. Besides Scrat; the main villain in the movie - Captain Gutt is menacing and purely evil because Peter Dinklage is voicing it (YAY, Tyrion Lannister!!) with gust, as well as, the silly old but effectively useful Granny by Wanda Sykes. I will not talk about the usual one because you know them quite well now but I have to say that the addition of Aziz Ansari, Jennifer Lopez, Nicky Minaj (annoying as she is in real life) and Nick Frost seems wasted. What is the point of having them besides of increasing the marketing prospect of this movie?


    In the end, “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” is not necessary a good or a bad movie as the frantic adventure and random repetitive slapstick are not enough to correct the weakly convicted and disjointed plot. Over its glossy surface, this kind of movie would just make the children happy but only a passable and watchable entertainment for adults.

    MY RATING:
    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 11.9/20.0

    "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift" opens in cinemas nationwide in 2D and 3D versions beginning July 12th. Thanks to 20th Century Fox
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