UK Release date: 13th July 2012
Watched on Sky+ Monday 5th August 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Those few of you that have read my stuff in the past will know I have a bit of a soft spot for animated films. Of course it means I occasionally get hooked on a franchise and don’t seem able to let it go even when it’s clearly run its course. This is true of the ‘Ice Age’ films. One and Two were great; three not quite up to the same standard (but with some excellent gags) and now we come to number four. Sorry to report, it’s not quite up to snuff & I think its time they called an end to it. Here’s a very brief summary before I tell you just why.
With the land mass splitting up we find Manny (Ray Romano) separated from Ellie (Queen Latifah) and their daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer). Cast adrift on the ocean with Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes), Manny thinks all is lost and he’ll never see his family again. To add to his woes they are set upon by pirates led by Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage). He wants Manny to join his crew, but Manny is better than that and says no. I won’t tell you how, but they manage to escape and also discover a possible route home. The trouble is, the Pirates have a base right where the current is at its best to take them home. Can they persuade the local inhabitants to help them defeat the pirates, steal their ship and get back home?
As is the fashion these days with these films there is a lot of moralising going on and a lot about the importance of family. I don’t usually have a problem with this, but in this film it was so ‘in your face’ that I felt it got in the way of the story. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the other ‘Ice Age’ films, probably because it has lost all the charm the characters had in the earlier films. On the plus side, Peter Dinklage did make for a very intimidating and threatening advocacy. I guess it wasn’t until about the last 20 minutes that I began to warm to any of the characters, but by then it was far too late. Time to put the franchise to rest guys. I’ve probably been a tad to generous with my score, it’s because Sid does make me laugh!
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)
My score: 5.7/10.
IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 78,869 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 49/100: (Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 62/100 (based on 143,671 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Official Site (UK): http://www.iceagemovies.com/uk/