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Ice Age: The Meltdown

Reviewed By Mark Rodger-Snelson
Posted 05/10/06 13:38:17

"Visually stunning but let down by unfunny and uninspired plot"
3 stars (Average)

With the success of the first Ice Age, it is no surprise that the creators saw it fit to add a second installment. With Ice Age 2 the magic is all in the animation and unfortunately not in the story.

The main players in the original cast are back: Manny (Ray Romano) the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and the hapless prehistoric squirrel/rat known as Scrat (Chris Wedge). This time they are living in a rapidly changing world Ė seems that global warming is kicking in and everything is melting. Soon they realise that a huge glacier that holds back the ocean from their valley is about to come crumbling down and the only hope of surviving is to make it to the far end of the valley.

As they set off on their journey Manny is burdened with another dilemma - that he may be the last living mammoth on Earth as no one has seen a live specimen in a long time. That is, until he stumbles across another mammoth named Ellie (Queen Latifah) whilst on their journey. The only problem is they donít exactly hit it off too well and she oddly thinks that she is a possum. She also comes with excess baggage in the form of two mischievous squirrels she calls her brothers; Crash and Eddie. So the five of them embark on the long journey to the other side of the valley and face increasingly dangerous situations.

Technically Ice Age 2 cannot be faulted. The animals are beautifully designed and the animation is spellbinding. There are also no faults with any of the actors providing voices, they all do a great job and Queen Latifah is a great addition to the cast. However the story and general tone of the film falls a little flat and the plot seems put together like a patchwork quilt. If it were not for the adventures of the hapless Scrat who goes to extraordinary lengths in pursuit of an acorn, there would not be a great deal in the way of good comedy either. The session I attended was full of kids and although they were captivated by the visuals, the only laughs I heard were during Scratís scenes.

Ice Age will be appealing enough to children and it is a worthy school holiday outing at the cinema due to it being such a visual feast. It is just disappointing that it lacks the substance that previous films in this genre (like Shrek and Finding Nemo) have delivered in recent years.

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