"Ice Age: Continental Drift" should float away

Movie review
By: Frank Miller Special to News Messenger
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?Ice Age: Continental Drift? Directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier Voice Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo Rating: Two out of five stars ?Ice Age: Continental Drift? should float away By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger There comes a time when every film series gets a little long in the tooth and it becomes humane to start thinking about putting it on an iceberg and sending it out to sea. It?s fitting that this film is called ?Ice Age: Continental Drift? because, after slogging through this movie, I wanted to watch it float away and never return. The fourth film in the ?Ice Age? series finds the prehistoric characters getting separated from their families as the land starts splitting apart. Manny the mammoth, Diego the saber-toothed cat and Sid the sloth find themselves drifting in the ocean when they cross paths with a band of pirates who want to make them part of the crew. Meanwhile, their loved ones back home are trying to escape a giant land shelf that is moving toward them and threatening their safety. The film cross-cuts between these two narratives and the result is a wildly mixed bag of storytelling. The plot involving the pirates is occasionally humorous and lively, if not entirely shallow. However, every time the film cuts away to the family, the story grinds to a halt. The section that takes place on land features nothing but a leisurely escape from danger and life lessons about liking boys. This type of on-the-nose preaching to kids is fine for Saturday morning cartoons but it feels very cheap for a feature-length film. The only time the movie becomes mildly entertaining are the diversions featuring Scrat, a manic prehistoric squirrel who is obsessed with finding and burying nuts. These sequences have an over-the-top, vintage Looney Tunes vibe to them that would make Chuck Jones proud. Otherwise, ?Ice Age: Continental Drift? feels like a cheap cash-grab. The filmmakers simply took familiar characters, changed the window dressing, and hit cruise control for 90 brainless minutes. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.