Voices of: Ray Romano,John Leguizamo,Denis Leary,Queen Latifah,Peter Dinklage,Jennifer Lopez,Keke Palmer,Wanda Sykes,Nicki Minaj
Director: Michael Thurmeier,Steve Martino
Indian Express Rating:**1/2
Charles Darwin never encountered Manny,Sid,Diego,and would have perhaps torn his hair out at Scrat the squirrel’s survival abilities,given that he has not so far as had a bite of an acorn in at least decades. However,science and Ice Age,for all the series’s random referencing to earth’s evolutionary history,have never had much to do with each other. What this franchise was about though was animals now extinct,nature at its severest,and struggle for survival at its “fun-nest”.
This time round,Manny (Romano),Sid (Leguizamo) and Diego (Leary) take on the breaking up of the ‘Panagea’ — the supercontinent from which land masses broke away to give us approximately the globe we have today.
As the earth splits up,Manny is separated from wife Ellie (Latifah) and rebellious teen daughter Peaches (Lopez). His quest,perched on a flimsy iceberg that tackles storms to tornadoes,is to find his way back to them.
The fact is that he possibly couldn’t have any clue which way to head in the confusing expanse of the seas and the constantly changing geography. However,what keeps the three and Sid’s long-lost cantankerous grandmother (Sykes) more worried is a pirate. Captain Gut (Dinklage) is a testy orangutan commanding a bigger iceberg,and the purpose of his unabashed villainy is no more than to put some fruits on his table — not a small feat considering there are no such trees around. For that,he keeps other animals enslaved to him by threats and fear — including an animal of inordinate descent but discernible accent called ‘Gupta’.
The clash between the two sides involves snarls and snares,with animals crashing,falling,careening,colliding,only to bounce back,fur unruffled. Call it the 3D effect,for such clashes recur several times in the film.
As the jeering orangutan takes centrestage,you miss nature and its quietly unassuming threat,slowly building up in unseen ways. Here the only way nature makes its presence felt is in the form of a giant stone wall that’s slipping forward,but it doesn’t seem to really weigh heavy on anyone.
A few songs and inane,incessant chatter propel this berg forward,as does a slinky sabre-toothed tiger (Lopez) who spars with Diego till they realise they better mate up given they are the only two of their species seemingly around.
Much like its name — Mandy,Sid and Diego have long since left behind the Ice Age — the film now seems frozen in time. Banking on the same mix of unusual animals juggled together,running away from chunks of falling things. And extinction is not on anybody’s mind: an Ice Age 5 isn’t far away.