Ice Age Collision Course voice cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Queen Latifah, Adam Devine, Keke Palmer
Ice Age Collision Course director: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T Chu
The first four Ice Ages were about Manny (Romano), Sid (Leguizamo) and Diego (Leary) surviving nature. For the first time, they try to change the course of it. And before you question the science of the three animals, and their friends, diverting the advance of an asteroid, hold that thought. The one steering the exercise is Buck the weasel (resurrected from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), voiced by none other than famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
However, the zooming asteroid shining like a bright star even in broad daylight isn’t even the whole purpose of Ice Age. More importantly, and more than ever, the film is intent on finding love for each of its characters, who go about expressing it in a manner that gets as human-like as having a wedding planner for the union of Manny and Ellie’s daughter Peaches (Palmer) with Julian (Devine). It is painfully desperate at the best of times, just painful at others. One of these occasions is when Manny gets the cold-shoulder from Ellie (Latifah) for forgetting her gift on their “anniversary”.
The squirrel Scrat, again, is responsible for propelling the course of the film. Still trying to get its acorn, this time within a spaceship, it sets the asteroid and Earth on a collision course when it crashes into one thing too many while fiddling knobs in its craft haphazardly. You may wonder who put the spaceship out in space in that age, but it is better not to go in that direction.
Still, Scrat’s misdemeanours in space, particularly his encounters with gravity, are more entertaining than the plodding course of his counterparts on Earth once they intend to take on the asteroid. The jokes are repetitive, the characters tiresome, and rather than Manny, Sid or Diego, it is the sidekicks (particularly Wanda Sykes, as Granny) who hold centrestage.
Tyson as Buck is interesting, but he is too much of a one-note character to hold this film together. He is still battling a pack of dinosaurs, who are a mingle of distractingly different shapes and colours. Having once claimed to have married a pineapple, Buck now cradles a pumpkin as its child. No, there is no comment on that.
Before long though, a llama comes into this mix, who lives in “Geotopia”, bears the name Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), greets with a namaste, lights incense, holds himself in yoga positions, and emphasises the importance of not stressing.
Asteroid or no asteroid, geography or not, the Earth is one small round ball after all.
The question is, how long can Ice Age run us around in circles?
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