" I was shaking my head and wrinkling my brow at the completely idiotic plot. "
Title: Ice Age by 20th Century Fox
Format: Animated Motion Picture
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: The ice age is coming, and an odd ball group of pre-historic animals must band together to save an orphaned baby from catching an extreme cold…Or something like that. Basically, this flick is the latest, greatest computer animated feature film to skirt that fine line between a slapstick kids movie and a purveyor of mature humor.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Acting: Take one part
"Shrek", one part "Lion King", and two parts "Monsters, Inc." Stir, shake, and
serve ice cold and you'll get the idea for what Ice Age offers. Basically an
off beat odd couple buddy comedy, Ice Age covers the brief trek of 3 heroes-
a mammoth, a sloth, and a saber tooth tiger who are united only in their interest
over an orphaned child who has washed up on a shore. Much wackiness ensues as
the mammoth and sloth valiantly try and deliver the kid to its parent while
simultaneously protecting it from the saber tooth who is pretending to be out
for the child's best interest- but is secretly after it for a tasty treat.
And that, really, sums up all of the fallings of this story in one handy paragraph. First, you have the incredibly trite plot overall. Sure, that's not a huge deal (it is a kids movie after all), but with this same story basically being done twice last year it gets old really fast. Then, moving beyond the actually plot, we have the cast of characters: a sloth, a mammoth, and a saber tooth. And while, granted, that mismatched predator-prey buddy angle is and old one in kids movies, most of the time previously they are given some kind of reason, however flimsy, to co-exist (i.e. Lion King). Here, though, the only binding element is the human child whose brethren have, as is stated in the movie, hunted all three of the heroes actively for food. Which, if you have anything even remotely resembling a logical element in your brain, will plague you as the dumbest plot line in history. "Hey, I know…Let's take this kid home so it can grow up and hunt us for food. Yippee!" Sure, I know it's a kid's movie, but c'mon…you can do better than that.
Accenting this is the haphazard performances by the voice crew. Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo probably all do their best, but with a flat and completely uncompelling script it's hard to put anything interesting into the roles. Even the occasional witty remark seems overshadowed by the often-down right boring overall script. Definitely not what we've come to expect when set against masterpieces like Shrek and Monsters, Inc. 2 out of 5
Action: Really, there was surprisingly little throughout the movie. The closing thing to any real action was the physical comedy that is bountiful though not particularly original. 3 out of 5
Visuals and Directing: Summed up into four words: Pretty but not impressive. The actual animation was intriguing and certainly lushly vibrant in a near pastel style but had neither the detail nor the definition to be compared to half of what we've seen lately. All in all, it can probably best be described as bland and often made me completely forget that it was computer generated, as opposed to simply drawn like any other Disney flick. 3.5 out of 5
Sound Track: Toe tapping and dramatic, the musical score actually was ideal. Smooth and very appropriately placed, half the time I forgot there was music playing- even when it was enhancing the drama or humor of a scene. That, in my opinion, is probably the best compliment you can give a score. On the down side, though, it also ends up being essentially forgettable and certainly won't find its way into your CD collection. 4 out of 5
Value vs. Admission: There were a few times, probably 4 or 5, when I laughed. Unfortunately, those were heavily contrasted with the times I was shaking my head and wrinkling my brow at the completely idiotic plot. While not a waste of money this one's definitely passable. 3 out of 5
|In the end, if you're under 10 or 11, this will probably be a pretty good movie for you. It's moderately pretty, it's got good slapstick, and it is yet another romp into that range of "anything cute is good." However, if you're anything like me and want to think at least a little while you enjoy a movie, need any kind of originality, or are tired of seeing yet more of the same I'd have to suggest you ignore it. It's just not that good.|
The Good: Funny in parts, pleasantly pretty.
The Bad: Trite, brainless, and down right idiotic at times.
The Overall Ugly: I'd rather stay at home and watch Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel.
What it's Worth: Matinee…Maybe.