Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Direction: Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier
Voices: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo
In movies, good things rarely come in fours. From the Jaws and Lethal Weapon to the more recent Pirates of the Caribbean and Shrek series, fourth installments have usually been quite superfluous. Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is no exception.
The trio of prehistoric critters, first introduced back in 2002, embarks on yet another digitally animated 3D adventure. This time around, their journey is dispiritingly dull.Working from a woefully thin script, co-directors Martino and Thurmeier fail to bring any panache to the proceedings. As in the previous outings, the only clever gags involve the squirrel-rat hybrid whose dogged pursuit of an acorn triggers a continental cataclysm.
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Among the victims of the nutty shenanigans is a woolly mammoth (dubbed in world-weary tones by Romano) that gets swept out to sea on an ice floe. Separated from his mate (Queen Latifah) and their teenage daughter, the paternalistic elephant is determined to reunite with his family.
Accompanied by a sabre-toothed tiger (haughtily voiced by Denis Leary) and a hapless sloth (Leguizamo) the mismatched pals must also outwit a band of seafaring brigands led by an orangutan (Peter Dinklage).
The all-new menagerie of marauders includes a panther pirate (Jennifer Lopez), a multi-tasking badger and a wacky walrus (Nick Frost). Wanda Sykes is a welcome addition to the core voice cast as the daft but resourceful granny.
The target kiddie audience for Ice Age 4: … will likely giggle at the mere sight of the colourful cartoon creatures. As for the rest, they are unlikely to be clamouring for another sequel any time soon.