Movie Review : ‘Ice Age 4’ (***Three Star)

What do you do when a film franchise has run its course to such an extent that there’s no way forward? Simple. You take elements from popular films, try to make the story about something ‘familial’ and make one more film trying to inject life into the dead franchise even at the risk of drifting all the way into mediocrity and cliches.

This exactly seems to be the formula for the “Ice Age” franchise with the latest part generously taking elements from other popular films even as it seems to forget the fun, emotionality or even the ingenuity of the original.

In the end of the Paleozoic era, the supercontinent Pangaea had begun breaking apart due to the acorn hunting habit of Scrat. Caught in the middle is the ‘herd’ of Manny and his family, Diego and Sid. As Sid is united with his crotchety grandmother, Manny separates from his wife and daughter.

Drifting on an iceberg, the trio and the grandmother are captured by a pirate captain. As they escape, a crazy and funny chase ensues.

“Ice Age 4” suffers from ambition – the ambition to exist. After two previous forgettable installations, the franchise should have come to an end. Sadly, the studio decided to give it one more run. Though they try their best, it isn’t enough and the film drifts towards mediocrity and cliche ending on a whimper one was expecting all along.

The film puts together the usual theme of catastrophic global events and weaves together a lot of nice gags with the best and funniest being reserved for the exploits of our beloved Scrat. Though on their own the gags are funny, the problem is in the attempt to weave them into one coherent whole. In the absence of any real story, the film falls flat on its face.

The film tries to redeem itself with the introduction of a goofy bunch of characters, led by a pirate chimp. But this ‘hairy’ spoof from “The Pirates of The Caribbean” series isn’t enough to raise it high enough, despite introducing a love interest for Diego.

All in all, lot of precious funds were wasted in a film that need not have been made in the first place. Diehard fans, however, will love reliving the antics of their favourite characters. (IANS)



‘Ice Age 4’s Indian Connection

New Delhi: (IANS)Hollywood`s animation extravaganza ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’ has a special connect with this country – Indian origin actors Kunal Nayyar and Aziz Ansari have done the voiceovers for the film. The latest franchise is set in a pirate ship.

Britain born Kunal, who played Raj in ‘The Big Bang Theory` has done the voiceover for a character named Gupta, a prehistoric badger whose back is patterned with a skull and crossbones – the Jolly Roger iconic pirate flag.

The actor says he enjoyed doing the voiceover. “Yeah, that I`m good at it because I have an innate ability to overact! So that stuff comes naturally to me,” he said in a statement. Aziz, a popular stand up comedian based in the US, has lent his voice to a fellow pirate named Squint – the pirate crew`s smallest member.

“Squint is always ready to fight, but never gets to chop it up with anybody,” said Aziz. The Fox Star Studios production, set for release July 27, also has another special India connect.

Recently, the creative team from the film released a video featuring popular character Sid the Sloth with people from all over the world, including that from Mumbai. They were featured in front of the Gateway of India. `Ice Age 4` will be dubbed in Tamil and Telugu, apart from Hindi.

Directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, the film also features the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and Jennifer Lopez.