Ice Age 4: Continental Drift [2012] ★★½

If you have kids, you’ll want to take them to see “Ice Age 4”, and they’ll almost certainly have a good time. If you’re an animation buff, like myself, you may have a problem with the film, which looks great but isn’t up to the standards in terms of story. That’s the problem with producing so many sequels these days, and by now, you could easily feel the life draining from this franchise. The writers totally recognize this problem, which is why they rely a bit too much on new characters, including Manny the woolly mammoth’s teenage daughter, and a saber-booth tigress voiced by Jennifer Lopez. Ok ok maybe I was asking too much from it, when I shouldn’t have. After all, this is a sequel, and how well you react to it will have a lot to do with your expectations. The movie is by no means a disaster; on the contrary, it has so many funny moments, and the 3D effects are well staged. If nothing else, kids and their families will have a good time watching it (the screening I attended was packed with kids and they were all laughing and cheering). The plot is straightforward enough this time around: Manny, Diego and Sid find themselves separated from their families and friends when their continent is set adrift. No the plot doesn’t really thicken or anything, which is part of the problem in this seriously under-cooked sequel. That’s the grownup in me talking now; kids may not, and should not, care about story development. But even if they leave the theater smiling, I wonder if they’ll remember this movie by next week. I know I wouldn’t. But needless to say, the fact that these movies have been huge so far is reason enough for you to watch part 4. Too bad it didn’t turn out better.

Rating: 2.5/4

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