Monday, 24 September 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Sailing on ice...

A lot has happened since the release of the original Ice Age when Manny, Diego and Sid first met. This time around, their existence is threatened when their continent begins to break apart, forcing everyone to have to flee from their established homes. However, things go a little wrong resulting in Manny, Diego and Sid being caught up in a battle against a pirate ape, Captain Gutt.

For those who have not been keeping up with all the release of the Ice Age series, going to view the latest installment should not prove to be any hindrance into the overall world that has been created. Sure, the relationship between the protagonists may not be fully understandable but each's unique personality is unveiled very early. This ensures that you do not have to think too much and you can let yourself go for the adventures which ensues. This is not to say that Continental Drift is devoid of any tangible story, it is just not a unique or promising one. In short, the main characters are trying to get back to their families (well Manny at least) and this brings up the tried and tested theme of family bonding. There is a good lesson here to be taught to kids, though parents are most likely going to ignore the fluff. Thankfully, the film does have its fair share of good laughs. Most is aimed at kids which can provide the odd smile but then at times the writers do their best and it shows. Continental Drift is not a minute-by-minute comedy affair, but every aspect of the story and writing do adequately fall into place.

The voice acting is a lot of fun, mainly due to the performances by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo. The rest of the actors are by no means bad, for they all feel and sound comfortable in the roles assigned to them. This brings about a voice talent that fits well within the mould of the story itself allowing dialogue and comedy to be presented in a clear manner without ever sounding incompetent.

Technically, the film is pretty good. The animation is crisp and clear though lacking any noticeable advances in the medium. The 3D is not too bad itself: it is never distracting nor does it particularly standout or enhance the experience. But what was pretty fun was the full 4D effect. Moving chairs, water vapour being sprayed on you and air passing by your skin. While 4D is not something new to anyone who has experienced it, it did feel like it enhanced the film-watching experience. I cannot imagine it being suitable to all types of films, but in the case of a 3D animation like Ice Age, the film begins to feel more fun for it.

As an animation aimed at children, the worse the film receives is some name calling and some relatively non-violent action scenarios.

Ice Age: Continental Drift can be seen as a somewhat tired film. It's story is not particularly strong nor is the comedy always engaging. But it wades through these rough seas to make an impact that is adequate enough to keep your interest through to the film's conclusion. Add in some nice looking animation and the bonus 4D (if you are lucky) and the end result is something that can be enjoyable if you allow it to be.