Reviewed by: Ken Goding
Information about Noah’s Ark and the biblical flood
|Featuring:||Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Josh Peck|
|Distributor:||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
“The pack is back.”
“Ice Age: The Meltdown” showed plenty of promise based on the previews: More of what we got last time, with new characters for us to laugh at. It certainly delivers that in spades, although not a whole lot more. All of our favorite characters return, including Sid the sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo), Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the tiger (Denis Leary), and of course dear little Scrat the… something (Chris Wedge), who never quite manages to keep his acorn.
Once again the plot revolves around a journey, this one to safety from a massive flood that is soon going to wipe out anyone who stays in the area. Sid, Manny, and Diego set off with many other animals, but always seem to be separate from the rest, the pack usually is a minor part of the action. And the adventures begin, all with danger, funny situations, and humor that could have been a lot cleaner. The largest of these is meeting up with two possums and another mammoth (Queen Latifah) who believes that she is also a possum. These identity issues make for quite the situation as Manny believes that they may be the last two mammoths left alive. And it turns out that Diego is afraid of water, not a good thing when a flood is headed your way. So they all travel together and try to keep from getting killed; you have to wonder how a few animals can get into so much trouble.
The physical comedy is the strongest point, of course. You can’t help but laugh at the scrapes they get in and out of, and it almost makes you forget the dialogue which borders on pathetic. sadly, much of the humor in the dialogue is insults and word plays (a beaver says “Dam!” and the theater erupts in laughter). There is a bit of shaky ground as the mammoths discuss their relationship, but they kept it to a decent level. And like the original, Scrat overshadows everything in his quest to get the acorn. It’s safe to say that he’s the favorite; the kids always made happy noises as soon as he appeared.
So the worst part is the dialogue, of course; I think the scary situations are comic enough to not cause too much trouble for the younger audience. Hungry sea animals may be a little tougher, but the rest will simply evoke laughter. Evolution is, of course, assumed to be true, although it takes a back burner in light of all the adventures. Included is a spoof of Noah’s Ark; the destination of safety is a large boat, so it can at least open a discussion about what really happened. Since the target audience is the children who will absorb all of this stuff, I suggest you give them the parental guidance that the rating advises.
I do feel positive overall about the movie, despite its shortcomings. I certainly did laugh, and while the plot isn’t wonderful, following it made me feel like I had the adventure right along with them. It is what it is; the kids will love it, and parents probably won’t feel like they’ve wasted their money to see it.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
The same is done with a huge wall of ice that serves as a dam. The same applies here with the play on the word “dam.” And then towards the end of the beginning scene with the dam, a large piece falls of and one of the creatures very obnoxiously says, “dam.” All of the children in the theater “got it,” so I fail to see why that is necessary to have in a film that is marketed and geared toward children.
Now, normally this would not be too big of a deal, but my son is at that young age when he repeats literally everything he hears. If you’re a parent under the same circumstances going in, I’d suggest being about 10 minutes late, as this will avoid the cursing scenes. There are some sexual innuendoes littered throughout, but they should be far above any child’s head and therefore shouldn’t pose as a problem.
Average / 4
—Aaron, age 26