Review: ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, A Franchise Ready To Go Extinct
The formula of the Ice Age franchise is easy to identify: a group of prehistoric animals suffer Earth’s constant drastic changes, while they also face personal conflicts. In every entry the protagonists must travel from one place to another, to fulfill a particular objective (returning a baby human to his family in the original film, or rescuing a friend in the third part) or as direct consequence of said changes on planet Earth (that’s what happens in the rest of the movies).
Obviously, another characteristic that has turned Ice Age into a box office success is the endless gag involving the squirrel Scrat and its precious acorns. The responsible filmmakers have exploited this small character and what started as a narrative break to provoke some laughs, little by little evolved until the squirrel became a some sort of deity, sometimes for the greater good (he solves the great flood problem in Ice Age: The Meltdown) but mostly to disastrous results, as he causes the continental drift or the sinking of a city equivalent to Atlantis (in the fourth effort). In Ice Age: Collision Course - the weakest sequel yet even if it’s the best animated -, the Scrat gag couldn’t get more absurd: after finding a ship, the squirrel travels to outer space only to provoke an asteroid fall that threatens to destroy our planet.
The only thing that makes this fifth chapter different from the other sequels is that it tries to make the most of previously introduced secondary characters. Dealing with the notion of a possible extinction through the impact of an asteroid, the dinosaurs are back, naturally, as well as the insane weasel that was one of the few redeemable elements of the third film. Nevertheless, Ice Age: Collision Course can’t avoid adding more disposable characters, while the main herd set out on another journey trying to save themselves, at the same time that certain everyday issues keep bothering them (struggles that were novelty several sequels ago).
The stories of the original members of the unusual herd (the mammoth Manny, the Smilodon Diego and the sloth Sid) have always been developed around the formation of a family and little more. For the fifth part, Manny continues denying that his daughter has already grown up (same theme of the previous movie), the increasingly irrelevant Diego thinks only in having a cub with his girlfriend, and Sid finally finds a partner. Now that the former lonely males have all found love, the cycle of Ice Age should be near its ending; it would be a matter of time for Diego and Sid, following the steps of the mammoth, to procreate. However, as long as the money keeps flowing, the recycling will continue with marital problems, the world suffering all kinds of alterations (the writers should be grateful to Scrat), and new villains being revealed (after a pirate ape now we have flying dinosaurs). In any case the outcome will be the same because nothing, not even a giant asteroid, is capable of hurting these species, let alone of causing their (supposedly inevitable) extinction.
Ice Age: Collision Course
- Mike Thurmeier
- Galen T. Chu
- Michael J. Wilson (screenplay)
- Michael Berg (screenplay)
- Yoni Brenner (screenplay)
- Aubrey Solomon (story)
- Stephanie Beatriz
- Robert Cardone
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
- Adam Devine