Arts movie review

Ice Age Collision Course is a disaster

It's full of tired gender stereotypes and bathroom humor

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"Ice Age: Collision Course" - Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo) meets an ethereal female sloth, Brooke (voiced by Jessie J) who somehow finds him irresistible.
Disney Pixar


Ice Age: Collision Course

Directed by Michael Thurmeier

Starring Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary

Rated PG

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If you’ve watched enough children’s movies, you know that the good guys triumph over unbeatable odds. In Ice Age: Collision Course, a colossal, fiery asteroid threatens to annihilate the planet. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Imagine if it did: Peaches and Julian never get married, and their corpses burn together in their last embrace. No, that’s ridiculous.

The asteroid is so destructive that you are absolutely certain that it will go away. The movie has a PG rating for “mild rude humor and some action/peril,” but you will feel no peril if you are out of elementary school. There are murderous dinosaurs and exploding asteroids, but nothing out of the ordinary. The movie flickers between prehistoric and futuristic scenes — it aims to excite, but only happens to confuse.

The abrupt transitions in space (pun intended) break up the primary storyline. It’s difficult to tell, but the plot resolution is cute and clever. The gang checks out the predicted crash site to see if anything is attracting the asteroid. The flaming ball of terror is literally attracted to a magnetic space rock on Earth, so they propel the giant magnet away from the ground.

Developing relationships between core characters and resolving this conflict would make a fine movie. Introducing oodles of new characters makes a tangled mess. It turns out that the magnet is not a space rock, but a colony for forever-young animals. How did they survive the crash to Earth? How do the crystals act as a fountain of youth? As far as I can tell, the purpose of this whole subplot is to introduce Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo) to his girlfriend (voiced by Jessie J) who instantly falls in love with him for no reason.

Earlier on, the plot establishes that Sid is unattractive and clingy. He leaves algae in his eyes, and he makes detailed marriage proposals to a girl after the first date. Yet, by the mysterious laws of children’s movies, he scores a woman. You remember the female characters by attaching them a male and branding them with adjectives. Sid’s girlfriend is beautiful and quirky, and Sid’s grandmother is shrill and naggy.

The female mammoths are a bit better. Manny’s wife seems sensible. However, the movie first establishes her identity as a wife when she fusses at Manny for forgetting their anniversary. Manny’s daughter seems innovative and resourceful, but her main goal is to become Julian’s bride. The climax excludes her and shows her father and her boyfriend saving the day, and the movie ends with her wedding.

The only thing connecting the unredeeming characters and the complicated plot line is rude, slapstick humor. If you share a sense of humor with an immature child, you would get a kick out of the ample nut and nipple jokes. Personally, I found them disgusting. Understandably, I am not the target movie audience. I do not expect movies, especially children’s movies, to cater to young liberals by featuring strong, brave women, but movies need to abandon superficial ones.