With a new Ice Age movie coming out in five weeks, I thought that I should finally watch the last one that came out four years ago. This film only had a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is why I was in no hurry to see it, and now I can see why. Most of it I found entertaining, but there are parts of it I didn't like.
The story involves the break up of the Pangea super continent, notwithstanding the fact that the Pangea super continent broke up 175 million years before most of these animals existed. This causes Manny, the woolly mammoth, to become separated from his wife and rebellious teenage daughter. This is where I start to have a problem with the film, because the family story in this prehistoric animal tale is a little too 21st century. I could have done without the family story altogether. Manny and his friends end up doing battle with a primate pirate and his crew. This particular plot element, along with the rest of the story, seems a little weak to me.
It is not a terrible story, but it is also not a particularly great one either. It has plenty of action to make it watchable. It is good enough to rent if you have nothing else to watch. This film has too many pop cultural references, which to me is a sign that they knew the story was weak. When you consider that this film made almost a billion dollars, you would think that they could have given us a better story.
The original Ice Age film paid close attention to details. You had a sense of historical accuracy, because you saw the Woolly Mammoth exist at the same time as, and on the same continent with, Native Americans. This also fits in well with the ice age theme. The sequel films gave us continental breakups and dinosaurs, which means that any sense of historical accuracy is completely thrown out the window.
Speaking of details: A woolly mammoth is at least as big as an elephant, if not bigger, and shouldn't have so much trouble fighting an ape. The mammoth should win easy. Here the ape looks almost as big as the mammoth, which is not realistic.
My one last observation is that the different Ice Age movies seem to be able to make a boat out of anything. In one film it is a giant log. In this film it is icebergs.
I enjoyed the first three Ice Age films, and I enjoyed this one barely enough to be glad that I rented it. It is a little better than the third Madagascar film. Both these film franchises seem to be running out of ideas, so I hope that the next Ice Age movie is a little better.
Rating: * * 1/2