The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, 2022.
Directed by John C. Donkin.
Featuring the voice talents of Simon Pegg, Vincent Tong, Aaron Harris, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Justina Machado, Sean Kenin Elias-Reyes, Dominique Jennings, Skyler Stone, and Jake Green.
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild continues the escapades of the possum brothers Crash and Eddie who set out to find a place of their own. Together with the one-eyed weasel, Buck Wild, they face the dinosaurs who inhabit the Lost World.
There’s already not much of a point to continuing along with the Ice Age series if you’re not going to bring back the voice talents for these characters (Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, etc.), but that hasn’t stopped Disney from going one step further with the former 20th Century Fox property; The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is centered on possums Crash and Eddie learning how to think, seeking independence by going off on their own and mustering up a little bit of bravery among all the dead playing shenanigans. And while not everyone deserves their movie, it’s also hard to give the film a chance beyond the first 10 minutes, considering it looks like it was animated to be released on the PS2 instead of a streaming service like Disney+.
For full disclosure, I did finish The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, not coming with much to say about it is barely any effort has put into telling a story, let alone writing sharp dimwitted humor (this entry was written by a team of three and directed by John C. Donkin, who was making his debut although has served as a producer on several other installments of the franchise). It begins with animated murals of woolly mammoth Ellie (voice of Dominique Jennings), catching viewers up to speed on the series so far and the core group of characters before turning things over to dumb and dumber possums dreaming of a new life. They happen to destroy a glacier that ruins the new family habitat, which causes Ellie and Manny (Sean Kenin Elias-Reyes) to have a minor argument, further pushing Crash and Eddie (Vincent Tong and Aaron Harris) to venture out on their own.
For whatever reason, Simon Pegg does return as eyepatch-wearing possum Buck, crossing paths with Crash and Eddie discovering that a dinosaur with an oversized brain and smug intelligence voiced by Utkarsh Ambudkar is planning to take over the Lost World. Naturally, Buck wants to do it alone and use the other possums as a hindrance until zorilla Zee (Justina Machado) for some lessons in the benefits of teamwork. There are running jokes about becoming superheroes without special abilities to give you an idea of what the humor is going for here.
Again, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is simply a cheaply made movie with lazy voice actor replacements (they either sound bored or fail at something like their previous counterparts), no genuine interest in the adventure part (most of the journeying is done by animating a map watching the characters move from location to location until reaching the final battle area). Most of the jokes are lame attempts at making the characters endearingly dimwitted or referring to urinating (they even make one during the climactic fight). What little action there is nothing memorable with various weapons ranging from bamboo sticks to gas grenades. It’s a lot of energy that’s somehow really boring.
The story can’t even be bothered to try and teach children not to let intelligence cloud one’s humanity and judgment (which appears to be the original intent considering the villain), let alone the usual be yourself and bravery checkmarks. Worst of all, it’s an eyesore to look at that people are going to assume came out in 2005 and not 2022. There are plenty of reasons to be a Disney+ subscriber; The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is not one of them. It should have gone the way of the dinosaur way back during its initial production.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com