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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai


FILM REVIEW Ice Age 4 : Continental Drift

Ice Age 4 : Continental Drift
Starring: Ray Romano, Denis
Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage, 
Keke Palmer, Josh Gad, Nicki Minaj, Heather Morris, Aziz Ansari, Kunal
Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier


I read on the web that there have been at least four 'Ice Ages' in the Earth's geological past, the first taking place 2.3 billion years ago. Whether all of the species in the Ice Age franchise existed in the same  time periods, I can't say.Be that as it may, the makers of the delightful comic spectacle of the computer-animated series (esp numero uno)  plumped for action adventure in their latest instalment. In the fourth of the series, the mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers and other creatures behave much in the manner of  many 21st-century folks as they struggle against extinction. New characters are also introduced such as Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes), a female saber tooth tiger named Shira ( Jennifer Lopez,slinky) and Louis (Josh Gad,sweet), a mole hog who has a soft corner for  mammoth Manny’s (Ray Romano,lovable) and Ellie’s (Queen Latifah ) daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) who just happens to have a crush on a mammoth named Ethan who hangs out with a “cool” set. She disobeys her father in order to meet Ethan and even goes to the extent of telling Manny, “I wish you weren’t my father.”
I'm glad to say that the prehistoric squirrel Scrat's (frustrating) pursuit of the  elusive acorn, which usually serves as a prologue and epilogue, is now part of the main plot. In fact, this time around, Scrat's nutty actions have  earth- shattering consequences : first, a continental drift  that triggers a life and death race for  the creatures,great and small; last, the sinking of Atlantis. Manny and his friends, Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo,zany) and Diego (Denis Leary,cool) the saber toothed tiger, get separated from family and friends. “No matter what, I’ll find you” Manny shouts across the yawning chasm. Somewhere along the line, during the  course of these upheavals, Sid reunites with his Granny (who is dumped by his parents for being,well, old and cantankerous ), and the herd encounters a band of seafaring pirate apes determined to enslave them  with the Hyraxes (tiny adorable mammals) and thwart their efforts to reach the Bridge where they can all be reunited.
The  leader of the pirates Captain( Peter Dinklage) Gutt ( rhyming with rut) lives up to his name.Literally.Even his first mate, Shira feels the heat of his noxious gaze. Manny and friends  finally make it home, with help from Granny's whale buddy, only to find Ellie and Peaches captives of  the pirates.Are they rescued? No prizes for guessing.
Ice Age 4 is watchable for superb animation and lively songs studding a great soundtrack. The humour though is a mixture of slapstick and scattershot jokes that may not resonate with children.  In one scene for example, a character moans,"Water,water everywhere and not a drop to drink!" spouting a line culled from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The scene in which the whale rescues our heroes who are in dire straits is straight out of the Jonah and the Whale Bible story which underlines obedience, gratitude and God's mercy. The sea monsters who can transform their appearance to deceive Manny, Diego,  Sid (and  fortuitously, Capt Gutt ) are the seductive Sirens of Greek myth who lured sailors to their deaths. This may confuse little children even as the film underlines  the importance of family, friends and forgiveness.

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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