One giant mess is right. For a franchise that started out with a warm, beating heart behind it in the first film, the Ice Age series has gradually gotten worse and worse with each new entry. But like most sequels, the more people keep pouring into theaters to see them, the more they’ll be made. So here we are at Ice Age number five, aptly named Collision Course. How fitting of a title this truly is, as this latest entry will send those unfortunate enough to see it on a collision course straight for disaster and dread.
Ice Age: Collision Course follows the adventures of a group of pre-historic animals trying to survive a still developing world. With Manny the Mammoth’s (Ray Romano) only daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) set to marry her fiancé and leave the group, he has no idea how to handle her eventual departure. Meanwhile, Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) is desperate to find his forever mater, especially since his closest friends Manny and Diego (Denis Leary) have found theirs. However, all of that is thrown into a blender when the sky begins raining with meteors, all thanks to the misadventures of everyone’s favorite saber tooth squirrel Scrat.
For a movie that should be at least somewhat suspenseful or interesting, especially with the aforementioned meteor shower, Ice Age: Collision Course only has one thing going for it: the animation. Despite their love of making second-rate sequels, Blue Sky Studios does have a good handle on their animation talents. At times, this movie can be bright and colorful with its vast landscapes, other times the amount of detail in character fur or feathers feels nicely crafted. Sure, it’s not on the same levels Disney/Pixar continues to impress with, but in its own right, the fifth Ice Age feature does have some good animation behind it.
And that’s about it. Unless you have a toddler that needs to be close to brain-dead for about an hour and a half, there’s no reason to waste your money on Ice Age: Collision Course. Even if this film has a talented cast at its disposal, including Simon Pegg, Adam DeVine and Nick Offerman, they’re given no comedic wit to work with that would allow their personalities to shine. In fact, the side characters that do receive most of the attention, such as Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott & Josh Peck), are some of the most irritating creatures to ever “grace” an animated film. And if you’re not a fan of crude humor, especially humor that revolves around poop or the butt region in general, you should stay far away from this feature. Even with the comedic potential behind some of its voice actors, Collision Course decides to rely heavily on the most juvenile of jokes to “entertain” its audience. And with a “father hating his future son-in-law” story to fill the gaps, there’s absolutely nothing engaging or inventive to fill the gaps between terrible joke after terrible joke.
After all that, however, what feels like the biggest offense of all is the giant misfires that are the Scrat segments. Despite every new movie in the series getting gradually worse over time, at least the screen time given to Scrat was mostly funny. The Looney Tunes-esque slapstick that befell on the little squirrel always made me chuckle, but Collision Course offers the first outing of Scrat that’s just plain pathetic. Not a single time did I find myself laughing at his antics. Instead, his screen time felt like nothing more than unfunny filler.
Built solely for the least demanding audience members, especially children, Ice Age: Collision Course is the lowest of lows you could ever expect from a big name animation studio like Blue Sky. Despite having made some good features under their belt, including The Peanuts Movie and Epic, Twentieth Century Fox’s animated division is perfectly content with recycling this abysmal franchise till the cash cow is dead and dry. And since Ice Age has decided to stay the course with the most uninteresting of stories and the most unfunny of jokes, Collision Course ends up being one mammoth of a dud.