Saturday, 31 August 2013

FILM: Ice Age: Continental Drift (5/10)

Why did I watch it?
I've watched all the films of the Ice Age franchise over the years so there wasn't any reason not to give Continental Drift a go and see what Sid, Manny and co were up to this time around.

What's it all about?
As the continents begin to break up (caused believe it or not by Scrat chasing his acorn), the film's group of regular characters are separated and Manny, Sid and Diego find themselves on a floating piece of ice where they meet Captain Gutt's motley crew of pirates.

Should you watch it?
If you have watched the previous three you might as well watch Continental Drift, though you will know exactly what to expect. Producing a third sequel is an indicator of how successful the franchise has been but also underlines how dependent studios can be to roll-out another sequel, devoid of too much development, for a guaranteed return. Anyway that's not Continental Drift's fault.

As with Dawn of the Dinosaurs there are additional characters this time around, a whole heap of them in fact. Sid's Grandma arrives, Diego has a love interest, Manny's daughter's gang, the film's villain and his posse of pirates to name a few. The producers clearly made a decision to make Continental Drift more teeny than the previous films, perhaps to match the age of the audience that has grown up with the franchise and the casting of the likes of Nicki Minaj, Drake and Jennifer Lopez underlines this, while the writing for Minaj's and Drake's characters does not so much underline it as write in capital letters, LOOK AT US COOL WRITERS, THIS IS WHAT TEENAGERS SOUND LIKE. Anyway, it's a kids film, who can get mad.

Thankfully the troublesome teens are kept on the side of the plot which serves just to occupy the half of the cast which aren't cut adrift and captured by Captain Gutt, brilliantly voiced by Peter Dinklage (Tyrion from GoT). Nick Frost voices Flynn, an effeminate seal in Gutt's employ, and his lines were the stand-out moments for me. Scrat's acorn hunt is still going and is always an enjoyable distraction from the central storyline.

As ever the film looks great, kids will enjoy the action and fun but for the rest of us the franchise feels tired, in the sense of characters and plots. However, with Continental Drift making over $800M it may be that Sid and co. are not on the verge of extinction just yet.  

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