Ice Age: Collision Course, 2016.
Directed by Michael Thumeier and Galen T. Chu.
Featuring the voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Devine, Sean William Scott, Josh Peck, Jessie J and Simon Pegg.
Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.
Collision Course, film number five in the long-running and hugely lucrative series, sees our intrepid group of mammals having to band together once more to overcome a new obstacle in their way: namely a huge asteroid which is heading towards Earth, sent on its rampaging path by the latest escapades of Scrat and his endless battle to save his favourite nut. With the help of returning character Buck (Simon Pegg), the group must act quickly to try to save themselves before the collision course event occurs and Earth may be destroyed.
As with the other Ice Age films that have come and gone thus far (how is it now five?), it’s Scrat the squirrel that’s the key to many of the laughs in the film and it’s no different here for his latest adventures in the outer regions of the galaxy. You tell a lot from a preview audience about how the film is going to play particularly when it involves a young audience who are the prime targets for this one. And immediately the entire collective of tots were transfixed on his latest energetic adventure as he tries once more to keep his nut close to his chest with not even gravity, solar systems and entire planets getting in his way. Nothing we haven’t seen before for sure but “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and directors Thurmeier and Chu rely heavily here on the character’s continued appeal and if reactions here are anything to go by there will be many more where these came from.
That said there is an ace in the hole, some new and much needed variety and pizzazz to keep the grounded action as entertaining as what is happening miles above them and they have such a trick in the returning Simon Pegg as Buck. In fact such is the impact of that without him the rest of the film is very dull by comparison. Reintroducing us to him via a Birdman-esque shot told in one take, Pegg excels in performing a vivacious, all-singing all- dancing extravaganza version of Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro, all the while fending off the local Dino-birds who is trying to stop him. His energy never stops for a second but while it may on paper sound particularly annoying and very one-dimensional, Pegg’s impeccable timing and comedic affluence is a joy.
Sadly though the rest of the story feels lacklustre, devoid of the dynamism or emotion that the first couple of film’s had in spades. As the group try to hide from and then stop the impending doom of the asteroid and shows that despite some flashes of technical brilliance that the franchise is slowly running out of juice. Messers Leguizamo, Romano and Leary have all but become sidelined in amongst the copious amounts of other characters (you can almost feel it in their voices that they have perhaps exceeded their Ice Age quota) and while they are always part of the fun they seem somewhat defunct now that the films have expanded beyond them.
While there’s plenty for young ones to enjoy though the crazy adventures of their favourite saber-toothed squirrel and Simon Pegg’s excellent turn as the films comic relief, Ice Age: Collision Course is perhaps one film too many for a franchise now entering its sixth year and at times feels uninspired and repetitive. One of the kiddies only.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Scott J. Davis is a Senior Staff Writer and UK Reporter for Flickering Myth – Follow him on Twitter