Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
(PG) Fox HE DVD/BD
There are several well-loved family film franchises and Ice Age was one of the first to really establish its characters.
Manny the Mammoth, Sid the lateral-lisping sloth and Diego the Sabre Tooth Tiger are a ragtag bunch who have come to epitomise family in a odd sort of way — with Sid being like the uncle who makes uncouth and inappropriate bodily function jokes.
Unfortunately, the same story has been trucked out too many times and the law of diminishing returns has certainly kicked in with film number four. One can only trade on audiences’ love of the subject matter for so long. Everything about this outing feels exhausted. The storytelling is particularly lax.
Essentially, Manny, Sid and Diego are separated from the family (by splitting continents as the title suggests) and they must battle many seafaring oddities to be reunited.
Many of the jokes are recycled and, with an added family member of Sid’s, there are the requisite bodily function and other jokes to raise a chuckle.
Scrat is up to his same old tricks trying to secure that acorn (now that is a joke that has really worn thin!).
The true test of a good kids’ film is whether or not its core audience will be prepared to sit through it till they can recite the script; the critics in my household don’t want to touch it with a bargepole.