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Ice Age 4: Continental Drift review

The fourth film in the Ice Age series begs the question: Is it the Stone Age yet?

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Ice Age: Continental Drift Photograph: Blue Sky Studios\TM 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5

If you think the Ice Age franchise has, well, thawed out, you'd be wrong: It's still likely to enthrall at least the younger crowd. 

After battling such prehistoric problems as meeting their first humans, global warming and breaking bread with the dinosaurs, the series continues with a fourth film, which chronicles what happens when accident-prone squirrel Scrat causes Pangea to break apart after chasing after his acorn down to the planet's core (don't ask). Now in the face of a literally Earth-shattering dilemma, Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano) must figure out how to get home to Ellie (Queen Latifa) and their teenage daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), after being separated by a subsequent series of earthquakes. Luckily, he'll have help from his trusty comrades, the thick-headed Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the smooth-talking saber-tooth tiger (Dennis Leary), who have been marooned with him.

Ice Age's aquatic adventure begins as Manny, Sid and Diego float through uncharted waters on a giant shard of ice and do battle against such "bad guy" obstacles as obnoxious sea creatures and throat-slitting monkeys, who seemingly have nothing better to do than to pick on a three-ton family "man" and his smart-talking sidekicks. But since every kiddie adventure flick needs a decent villain, Peter Dinklage's produce-pillaging pirate Captain Gutt gets the job done with some authority (and a song!).

While Manny, Sid, Diego and, oh yes, Sid's sassy granny (Wanda Sykes) do battle against Captain Gutt, Ellie and Peaches are trunk-deep in after-school-special territory. Though Continental Drift is dependably on point for a good sight gag, it's a little too packed with overly poignant "don't change yourself for anyone"s "my little mammoth is growing up"s and some Degrassi-esque peer pressure subplots, which is quite apropos, since former Degrassi cast member Drake stars as Peaches's too-cool crush.

In all, such maudlin moments may make for a parental slog through the latest Ice Age flick, but kids will gobble this frozen treat up with a spoon. 

 

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Dir. Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeir. 2012. PG. 94 mins. Ray Romano, Queen Latifa, Dennis Leary, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez. 

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