Ice Age: Collision Course

Ice Age: Collision Course

2016, PG, 94 min. Directed by Galen T. Chu, Mike Thurmeier. Voices by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Chris Wedge, Jessie J, John Leguizamo, Adam Devine, Nick Offerman, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Michael Strahan, Keke Palmer, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., July 22, 2016

Rule of thumb: It’s almost always a bad sign when a film franchise suddenly sends an otherwise earthbound core character into outer space. When Ozploitation legend Brian Trenchard-Smith signed on to direct the fourth installment of the wackily sadistic, pot-of-gore Leprechaun series, he and screenwriter Mark Jones simply added a colon to the pre-existing title and voilà Leprechaun: In Space. Succinct and accurate, yes, but in the end, an astronomically mediocre addition to the CV of all involved. See also: Hellraiser IV: Bloodline.

While not exactly a horror – or for that matter a horrible – movie, this fifth installment of the prehistoric buddy comedy falls far short of its earlier promise. Once smart and funny but now witless and given to an overabundance of poop gags, Ice Age: Collision Course is, hopefully, the series’ extinction-level event. Speaking of, that’s the hook on which the film is hung. Scrat (Wedge), the films’ acorn-loving, squirrel-rat mascot and the single best thing about all the Ice Age films (the character is a Looney Tune unto himself) literally launches the plot into motion when he inadvertently activates a buried alien spaceship and, very long story short, ends up sending that massive, everyone-killing asteroid hurtling toward his homeworld. Scrat’s cosmic misadventures are a Rube Goldberg-ian blast, but back on Earth, Manny the Mammoth (Romano), wife Ellie (Latifah), and the usual gang are having problems of their own. The impending nuptials of daughter Peaches (Palmer) weighs on them nearly as heavily as that ever-growing fiery orb in the sky, while a bizarre side-plot revolves around the discovery of Geotopia, a highly magnetic (don’t ask), New-Agey community of newcomers led by the aphorism-spouting yogi, Shangri Llama (Ferguson).

All of this feels like much ado about nothing despite the astronomical peril the characters face. Collision Course is overstuffed with meandering, unnecessary micro-storylines, far too many new characters, and an obvious lack of focus, none of which should impact the movie’s target demographic, kids under 10. Hey Fox, give Scrat his own feature already, and then let the great die-off commence.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Films
Us Kids
Portrait of the Parkland shooting survivors never comes into focus

Matthew Monagle, June 11, 2021

British video nasty throwback finds the real danger was in the cuts

Richard Whittaker, June 11, 2021

More by Marc Savlov
A stunning look at life buried under the Rust Belt poverty line

June 11, 2021

The Carnivores
Austin-made relationship horror takes a bite out of the trauma of love

June 4, 2021


Ice Age: Collision Course, Galen T. Chu, Mike Thurmeier

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle