Wooly mammoths Manny and Ellie (voices of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah) celebrate their anniversary while the night sky fills with fireworks. “But wait!” says Manny, “does that look like a problem?” “A ball of fire, heading toward us?” says saber-toothed tiger Diego (voice of Denis Leary). “How can that be a problem?” “There’s more coming,” says Manny. “Meteor shower! Everybody — go!” That’s the setup for this fifth “Ice-Age” iteration. Last time, it was continental drift; now, it’s the end of the world.
Will Peaches (Keke Palmer) and Julian (Andy Devine) marry despite Manny’s objections? Does Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) find true love? And — oh, yes — can the herd divert the end-of-the-world, earthbound asteroid?
Familiar voices return for “Ice Age: Collision Course.” Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Jennifer Lopez are worried wooly mammoth parents Manny and Ellie, love-sick sloth Sid, and saber-toothed tigers Diego and Shira, who have nothing much to do.
New to the cast are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Adam Devine, Keke Palmer and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Tyson is one-eyed British weasel, Neil deBuck (known as “Buck”); he’s the brains of the herd — sings opera (Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”) and knows what the herd doesn’t know but must learn, asap. Devine and Palmer are loving, next-generation wooly mammoths, Julian and Peaches. Ferguson is Shangri Llama, a new-age, yoga guru who comes from who-knows-where and belongs in another movie. Like Buck, he’s mostly annoying. Jessie J is the voice of Brooke, Sid’s British sloth girlfriend.
This continues the saga of Scrat (voice of Chris Wedge), prehistoric squirrel pursuing a maddingly elusive acorn. Now, in outer space, Scrat inadvertently initiates a series of interplanetary events that establish our solar system and send a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth. All this in the first ten minutes. It’s splendid, funny and, trust me, the highlight of the flick. Everything else is downhill. Co-directed by Mike Thurmeier and Galen T. Chu, with a clunky script by Michael J. Wilson, Michael Berg and two others, it’s a 94-minute slog except for those opening minutes. Too much plot, bathroom humor and lots of lame jokes are what we get and, despite adult references — “2001,” “The Bride of Frankenstein,” “Lost Horizon,” Rossini, Mendelssohn, Wagner and Michelangelo — it’s tedious and painfully unfunny.
Rated PG for mild, rude humor, action and peril, it runs 94 minutes. Apparently, there’s talk of a sixth “Ice Age.” Let’s hope not, unless it’s all about Scrat.
“Ice Age: Collision Course,”
Mad Scrat’s behind the Force;
He’s still a lot of fun
All the rest? Over and done.