Trust on the awesome trio of mammoth Manny (Ray Romano), saber-tooth cat Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid, the sloth (John Leguizamo) for a wholesome family entertainer. After three successful outings, this latest from the franchise will not disappoint Ice Age fans. Even though the basic plot of the film is weaved around the tried and tested formula of rendering a heartwarming American tale with very imaginative deployment of family relationships, love, companionship, betrayal and finally an exciting re-union, ‘Ice Age 4’ is a joy ride altogether.
The characters of ‘Ice Age’ are the ones who impart a vibrant feel to the film. Their antics, situations, style mixed with a creative dose of technology which director Steve Martino has implemented in this new 3D venture, makes ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ an ideal film to enjoy with family, especially children.
The story progresses after mammoth Manny and Ellie’s daughter Peaches is all grown up and is raring to explore the thrills of youth much to the perplexities of her parents. Peaches has a crush on Ethan, but her father doesn’t approve of her choice. The father and daughter have a fall-out before the catastrophe strikes.
Apart from their story, on the parallel line, there runs the frolic and clowning around of Ice Age’s most wacky and the goofiest character – Scart (a saber-toothed squirrel).
The story takes an interesting turn when the manic hunter-cum-lover of acorns, Scrat, unleashes a natural fury which leads to the disintegration of the Pangaea landmass in the event of which Manny, along with his herd of Diego, Sid and Sid’s granny is separated from Ellie and Peaches.
As Manny drifts even further from his family on an ice block, there enters a new character - the evil monstrous monkey pirate Captain Gutt who claims to be the master of the sea and who with his funny wicked crew, try to capture and enslave Manny and his herd. Even as Manny defeats Gutt, leaving his ice ship a wreck, love blossoms between Diego and Shira, a female pirate saber-toothed cat. Gutt promises to avenge his defeat by holding Manny’s wife Ellie and the daughter a hostage. Gutt and Manny engage in a final fight, but Manny manages to defeat him and the Manny family is reunited.
While the story of ‘Ice Age 4’ may be regular run-of-the-mill type, there are many other children-friendly action sequences, chase scenes, and physical comedy which would keep children as well adults, thoroughly entertained.
Special effects in the film, especially of the herds’ encounter with big waves, depiction of bad pirates in the form of prehistoric animals, and tryst with the treacherous sirens makes viewing the film a fabulous experience.
Watch out for Sid’s granny and her pet whale!
‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ may not be as compelling in terms of the storyline as the earlier ones, but it’s definitely not boring. If you are looking forward to a weekend you want to spend with family and kids, ‘Ice Age 4’ is a pretty safe bet!
Ratings: 3 cheers!