"Ice Age: Collision Course" Movie Review
Submitted for your approval: a new category for The Razzies-- Most Annoying/Tiresome Character. And I loudly nominate this year’s inaugural winner to be Scrat, the god-awful animated squirrel in Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age: Collision Course. He can also be retroactively be awarded the prize for his appearance in 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift. And 2009’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. And 2006’s Ice Age: The Meltdown. And 2002’s Ice Age. And his half-dozen-or-so shorts, holiday specials, and TV appearances.
And while we’re at it, let’s give an award to the the folks who have decided it’s a good idea to make this annoying/tiresome little bush-tailed rat a recurring theme.
And, frankly, why not give Please. Just. Stop. Awards to executive producers Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha, too, for refusing to usher the whole franchise into extinction?
Yes, Ice Age: Collision Course is that bad.
First, the prologue. An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. But it’s not some feat of nature, some random occurrence that happens from time-to-time in the universe. No, THIS asteroid was set on its current course by… he-who-shall-not-be-named. While chasing his pesky acorn, he happens on a UFO frozen in an ice bank, happens to find his way into the cockpit, happens to find a way to power up the ship, happens to find a way to launch himself into space, happens to accidentally bang into a few planets, and happens to inadvertently create the solar system in the process (even though it already existed, because--Earth), which, in the process, sets an asteroid hurtling back toward our lovely planet.
But that’s only the first five minutes of Collision Course.
The real plot centers on mammoths Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah), who are grappling with the fact that their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) is getting married to Julian (Adam Devine). Meanwhile saber-toothed Diego (Denis Leary) and Most Annoying 2016 runner-up Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) are along for the ride, without serving any purpose.
But back to that asteroid. Eventually Buck the weasel (Simon Pegg) shows up and notices a tiny dot in the sky, which he immediately knows is a) an asteroid; b) hurtling toward Earth; c) going to make contact in 2 days, 14 hours, and 36 minutes; and d) will land less than a day’s walk away. Impressive, young Buck.
But you need more, you say? Well, how about Buck discovering that the asteroid is magnetic and being drawn to Earth because of other asteroid fragments that have already fallen in that area that’s less than a day’s walk away. And that he could divert the asteroid from its (wait for it) collision course, if the gang could launch enough of those fragments back into space. Sure. Why not?
If I didn’t know better (and come to think of I don’t), I’d have no choice but to surmise that screenwriters (and franchise vets) Michael J. Wilson, Michael Berg, and Yoni Brenner wrote this thing in their sleep after realizing that even though the Ice Age movies have gotten progressively worse, the franchise has nonetheless gone on to become the second-highest grossing animated series of all time (behind Shrek). It’s almost painful how dull, unfunny, and impossibly odd Collision Course is.
But I digress. We were talking about the annoying/tiresome acorn-chaser. Can anyone explain the appeal of this guy? And before comparisons are drawn to the Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote, let me remind you--the coyote never caught his quarry, so there was plenty of inherent comedy in the chronic fruitlessness of the chase. Scrat has actually had the acorn in his hands! On multiple occasions! But he never does anything with it! Is he saving it to eat later? Toying with it, as a cat does a mouse? Or is he just some kind of self-masochistic rodent who is as intent on making his own life as miserable as he is making ours?
I give up.
Blue Sky says the production of a (heaven help us!) sixth film in the franchise is dependent on how well Collision Course performs. Good news--it’s tanking. Director Mike Thurmeier said it best in his Twitter feed shortly after the film opened: “Welp, that didn't go quite like I imagined it.”
Worth the 3D glasses?
The film (3D or not) is not worth the cost of the plastic used to make the glasses. Heck, it's not worth the cost of the free napkin you grab for your popcorn.