Ice Age - Collision Course: Hey, Look, Shooting Stars"

Director: Mike Thurmeier
Writer:     Michael J. Wilson
                Michael Berg
                Yoni Brenner
                Aubrey Solomon
Starring: Ray Romano
                John Leguizamo
                Denis Leary
                Simon Pegg
                Jennifer Lopez
                Queen Latifah
                Josh Peck
                Seann William Scott
                Keke Palmer
                Adam DeVine
                Jesse Tyler Ferguson
                Jessie J
                Wanda Sykes
                Nick Offerman
                Max Greenfield
Rating:    **

Release Date: Out Now 

Diego, Manny & Sid
It has been 14 years since we were first introduced to Manny, Sid, Diego and Scrat; a lovable group of misfits who lived in the Ice Age. The original film provided us with a funny script, quirky characters and a heart-warming story of friendship and family. With each new film new characters have been introduced, some for better and some for worse; but somehow I feel after fifth and most recent outing, it is time for this franchise to become extinct.

Once again, Scrat's epic pursuit of his beloved acorn, is about to set our dysfunctional family off on another fast-paced adventure. Somehow he has managed to find himself in space; and he clumsily cause a series of catastrophic events that lead to a meteor racing towards Earth. To save themselves and the planet, Manny, Sid, Diego (Romano, Leguizamo & Leary) and the rest of the herd leave the safety of their home and embark on another life changing adventure, and of course they pick up some more interesting friends along the way.

Shangri Llama
I think my biggest problem with the Ice Age franchise is the the sheer size of it's ensemble of characters. The main trio which started it all have now been joined by 8 other creatures, each being zanier than the last. It feels busy, cramped and, a lot of the time, shoe horned in. Sure more characters are essential for storylines and progression, but there are at least 3 that could easily hit the chopping block, and it would have little to no effect on the story or dynamic.

That being said, I also noticed that until the final act, where we meet the majority of the new additions, including a zen goat (Shangri Llama) voiced by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and a hippy sloth (Brooke) portrayed by Jessie J, the story felt laboured and lazy. Yes children will be entertained by the hi-jinx and slapstick nature of the jokes, but it is basically the same as films 2-4; some sort of disaster occurs, the team must join forces to survive, Sid does something annoying and sets the plan back, everyone ends happy. It was only really the first film that didn't really follow this narrative. The new cast joining at the end injected the energy the film needed from the beginning, but also made it very clear that these characters need t be put to rest.

The animation has improved massively since the first film, and continues to be colourful, beautiful and exciting for the eyes. The script is full of the same jokes and japes as the previous entries to the franchise, so isn't nearly as funny as it once would've been. This also isn't helped by the actors being far less enigmatic and lively as they once seemed to be, they're all just going through the motions, and seem to let the new cast members do all the hard work. The previous film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was surprisingly entertaining and I genuinely enjoyed it. However, I can't help but feel that rather than milk the cow dry, they should have finished this franchise on a high, rather than with an ice cold and uninspired film like this.

Ice Age: Collision Course - Trailer