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Ice Age 4: Continental Drift – movie review
Release date: 13 July 2012
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier
Starring: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
What's the story?
After Scrat's pursuit of his acorn initiates the break-up of the continents, Manny the mammoth (Romano) becomes separated from his family and falls foul of a horde of animal pirates.
What did we think?
Entertainingly daft and ceaselessly inventive, the latest Ice Age succeeds in extending a franchise that had been running out of steam the last time out. As usual it's madcap Scrat who dominates things from the get go, though at least he gets some competition from Peter Dinklage's orangutan pirate captain.
The Shrek franchise was pretty much spent by the time it got to its fourth instalment. Yet the Ice Age series seems to be in fairly rude health as it marches towards double figures, bouncing back from so-so three-quel Dawn of the Dinosaurs with a spirited adventure that introduces enough new characters, settings and dangers to keep things ticking over icely.
Only this franchise would think to attribute the break-up of Paleozoic supercontinent Pangaea to the antics of one crackpot squirrel, let alone have it take place millions of years out of geological sequence. But then Ice Age's blatant disregard for the realities of prehistory has always been one of its most appealing features, along with the lively interplay between its bickering regulars - Manny the glum mammoth (Ray Romano), cynical sabre-tooth Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid the clumsy sloth (John Leguizamo) - and the various critters with whom they come into contact.
Okay, so Sid's grumpy grandmother (Wanda Sykes) and Diego's feline love interest (Jennifer Lopez) are somewhat surplus to requirements. But you certainly don't have to be a kid to enjoy the wacky pirate villains, a swarthy bunch of brigands who make the Aardman ones look rather ordinary by comparison.
Verdict: An ice night out.
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