Ice Age: Collision Course

Review by David Jenkins @daveyjenkins

Directed by

Galen T Chu Mike Thurmeier

Starring

Nick Offerman Ray Romano Simon Pegg

Anticipation.

Can’t we just rewatch the last one?

Enjoyment.

We probably could have. No one would’ve noticed. No one.

In Retrospect.

Forgettable ain’t the word.

Very vanilla fourth sequel to the original animated smash with a major fetish for toilet humour.

It’s hard to think of how an animated feature could be more insultingly lazy than Ice Age: Collision Course. Production of these things must have reached some kind of sweet economic threshold whereby its just not worth breaking a sweat to build some basic cogency, simple drama, a reason for the eyes of the audience to remain open. This film is all but indistinguishable from its cash-rich forebears, chronicling the continued misadventures of a gang of flip-talkin’ furry mammals who, this time around, are threatened with extinction from a sky-bound fireball. And, harsh though it may be, few watching this tired, tired film will not be secretly pining for all these critters and all their piss-weak sass to quietly succumb to death from above so we never have to do this dance again.

Even when it comes to conventions, the rote option is always deemed best. A climactic sing-a-long is faded out after barely a minute, as even the makers clearly realise that another happy-clappy dance montage is no fun for anyone. One thematic mainstay the film picks up (and which has spread far beyond the Ice Age franchise) is a fixation with faecal matter. If characters aren’t shitting, talking about shit, needing to shit, sniffing shit or accidentally smearing shit into their faces, then rest assured, they will be very soon. Obviously shit is hilarious, and a good poo gag is the finest thing an artist can do, if he does it properly. There’s probably more poo referenced and seen in Ice Age: Collision Course than there is in John Waters’ Pink Flamingos, so one must ask, are we really thinking of the children?

Whether this film marks a breakthrough in faeces-based screen content intended for a general audience is anyone’s guess. Indeed, it’s a tough metric to gauge with any kind of precision. One blanches at the prospect of the forthcoming Emoji film, in which one of the central characters is likely to be a smiling turd. And even in the trailer for a forthcoming Trolls movie, one of the gags sees a troll defecate cupcakes in fear only to then offer them to another character to eat. The finale of Ice Age: Collision Course, in which the gang have to fill up a volcano crater with magnetic crystals so they can be blasted into the air and drag the killer meteor from its course, acts as a giant, ecological metaphor for the digestion process.

Published 15 Jul 2016

Anticipation.

Can’t we just rewatch the last one?

Enjoyment.

We probably could have. No one would’ve noticed. No one.

In Retrospect.

Forgettable ain’t the word.

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