SINCE 2002 the Ice Age movies have proven to be the franchise that has delivered great family movies time and time again.
Amassing over $2.8 billion in ticket sales it's no surprise that there is a new instalment to please fans in the form of Ice Age: Collision Course.
As always, the movie begins with everyone's favourite acorn hunter Scrat, who while chasing his prize accidentally ends up in a UFO frozen in the ice.
Hey…it's a cartoon okay?
Somehow Scrat manages to end up in outer space in a very funny opening scene accidentally sets a giant meteor on a collision course with Earth. Could this be the end of the world?
Sid, Manny, Diego, Granny and all the characters we've loved for 14 years band together, along with returning character Buck (voiced by Simon Pegg), in a quest to figure out how to save the world. How do you stop a meteor's trajectory and avoid wiping out all life as we know it?
I stress again, it's a cartoon. Anything's possible in cartoons…right? Just ask Wile E Coyote.
Plot wise it isn't the strongest scenario but kids won't care, so they'll sit back and enjoy the ride.
Sadly, the average plot reflects the fact that this series is starting to show its age.
Many of the characters seem to be facing middle age, with Sid the Sloth still looking for love, while Manny is faced with dealing with the fact his daughter is all grown up and planning to get married to new addition Julian (hilariously voiced by Modern Family's Adam DeVine).
Sid's Granny (voiced by Wanda Sykes) returns and gets the pick of all the best lines.
Aside from Scrat's opening and closing moments, one of the best scenes sees our heroes under attack from static-charged meteors, and while there are a couple of emotion-charged scenes with laugh out loud moments, sadly these are few and far between.
Several of the jokes fall flat, and it is just a sign of the fact that you can't match some of the earlier movies, because they were so good, and you know that a series has run its course when jokes rely on one too many poo and bottom gags.
If anyone steals the show, it is Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell from Modern Family) as Shangri Llama, who brings lots of energy to save the last third of the film.
Animation as always is spectacular, and if anything it shows how far the art form and technology has come since the first movie. It's just a shame the script doesn't match it.
Nods to other movies might keep mum and dad amused but again, these moments are limited, and when you compare it to other kids flicks in the last year such as The Jungle Book, and Inside Out, plus the fact the Ice Age movies have got funnier with each instalment, it's fair to say that I was expecting a bit more.
Ice Age: Collision Course isn't a bad movie, it's just not a great one either, and the series is starting to run out of ideas. Kids will enjoy it, which at the end of the day is the aim, but it's not the big laugh-fest finale that the series deserves.
But if you want to keep the kids happy for 90 minutes, there are much worse ways to spend a day at the movies.
Ice Age: Collision Course opens nationally tomorrow.
Ice Age: Collision Course
Stars: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Simon Pegg, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah.
Directors: Mike Thurmeier and Galen Chu
Verdict: 3/5 stars
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