Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 2:15 AM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 3.9/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 5/10

ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT (2012) - Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier

One of the most recurring films in the animation genre is the type where the cast is a group of animals. However, each new sequel's flaws are just as recurring as the films themselves. The greatest example is the fourth entry of the Ice Age franchise, Continental Drift, a cold drifting iceberg with nothing special.

Continental Drift follows our familiar pack of mammals: Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary), Ellie (Queen Latifah), and the possums Crash and Eddie. And of course -- somehow the public's most favorite -- the acorn-obsessed squirrel. This time, the herd find themselves in the middle of a continental drift, the notable time period when Pangaea split up into several smaller landmasses. After an iceberg breaks off, separating Manny, Diego, and Sid from the rest of the herd, the main trio find themselves pitted against pirates, led by a prehistoric ape with no appeal on screen.

The film may appear like it has less to offer visually due to the large amount of water seen, but Continental Drift strives with fluent animation once again. Take one good look at the tidal waves, then go back and watch The Meltdown (the second Ice Age), and you will be surprised at how much the animation improved. But at the end, not even the smooth visuals can save Continental Drift from drifting into familiar territory.

One of the main problems with this film is that it constantly recycles elements from its previous films. Sid speaking gibberish and dancing in a funny way, have you seen that somewhere before? Yes, in The Meltdown, with the tiny sloths. Diego not admitting that he is in love with a female, have you seen that somewhere before? Yes, also in The Meltdown, but it applies to Manny. How many times did a character call Manny fat? At least once in every single Ice Age movie. Despite Continental Drift having an interesting premise and intriguing background for a sequel, it fails to create an original script with brand new jokes as well as depth. The characterization is still uninteresting at times, possibly even called "boring," and what you are left with here is simply an uninteresting movie, because every storyline element covers, what I mentioned before, familiar territory.

In the third film, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, technically only two new characters were introduced: Buck the Weasel and Momma Dinosaur, who has no dialogue. Though Buck defines the word "crazy," Simon Pegg brought the Ice Age franchise to new depths, thus making his character lovable and memorable. Here in Continental Drift, there are over ten new characters, each one glacial and lukewarm. Each new character has cardboard personalities, familiar in almost every kids movie. Furthermore, certain characters, specifically the new mammoths, have no logic of being existent in the film. Ever since The Meltdown, the franchise always stressed on how Manny and Ellie are the last ones of their kind, until Dawn of the Dinosaurs, when they have their first and only child, Peaches. Here though, Peaches meets four new mammoths the same age as her (two of them voiced by Drake and Nicki Minaj). Where did these new mammoths come from? Even better: Since they are the same age as Peaches, they should have their parents too. So where did *they* come from? Never explained.

The new villain of this movie is Captain Gutt, a prehistoric ape, captain of a pirate ship made out of a big iceberg. Unfortunately, Gutt never starts sailing as a character, with his personality as ugly as his appearance. Unlike all other well-designed villains, Gutt has no goal whatsoever and no origin nor explanation of how he is the antagonist of the film -- nothing more than just a bad-tempered ape who happened to run into a mammoth he does not like.

With a flood of familiar elements and unfavorable characters, Continental Drift is nothing more than just a better animated version of The Meltdown. Simply put, this entry to the franchise is strictly designed for either the younger folks or the *extremely* less demanding filmgoers. It may charm seldom times with slapstick that is surprisingly clever, but it is not enough to conceal its frozen originality.

On a more forgiving note, if one who is unfamiliar with the Ice Age franchise and ends up watching Continental Drift as his/her first movie, then it might settle as a straightforward popcorn movie, animated entertainment at its silliest. It inevitably lacks the depth that Pixar and even DreamWorks have, and worse, it attempts to have depth but fails at it.

In conclusion, Continental Drift will be extinct soon, easily forgotten for being way too similar to its predecessors, and I mean, *three* predecessors. It is chaotic, with hackneyed dialogue and an atmospheric mood that is labeled as "stupid." In summary, it has nothing new to offer and instead regurgitates out a herd of new characters that have no complete personality arcs and say moronic talk. The animals may exist in the presence of the film, but they do not "come alive" anymore. The pirate ship does not sail for long, or in fact, at all -- and as for Continental Drift as a film on its own, it will eventually drift away to the far ends of the globe.

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