Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Starring the voices of: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Directors: Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier
Category: I (English and Cantonese versions)
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, full of slapstick humour and visual splendour, is a nice cinematic treat for the summer.
The fourth instalment of the prehistoric saga picks up where it left off in the last episode.
Manny (Ray Romano), the mammoth, is a loving father increasingly protective of his teenage daughter Peaches, who yearns for freedom and independence.
Diego (Denis Leary) the sabre-toothed tiger continues his life as a loner lacking social skills while Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth reunites with his sassy and abandoned grandma.
Things change drastically when an earth-shattering quake results in a continental drift that separates Manny from his family.
As the mammoth and his buddies strive to sail home on icebergs, they are besieged by pirates led by an ape (Peter Dinklage) as well as legendary sea creatures such as Sirens. Like Homer's Odyssey, plenty of wacky sea battles ensue.
Adolescents who saw the first Ice Age movie when it came out in 2002 will now be past their teens or even dads.
Fortunately, the franchise has matured over the years, and the fourth episode feels more like a family comedy about the reconciliation between parents and rebellious kids than a buddy movie.
After saving a baby, surviving a flood and fighting off dinosaurs, Manny and the gang now face the supreme challenge of teaching their offspring not to hang out with the cool kids, who are, perhaps coincidentally, voiced by rappers Drake and Nicki Minaj, as the wrong type of mammoths. Parental approval, which equals good profit, is ensured.
Also the filmmakers manage to spice up the plot with enough visual high points to keep the new crop of 10 year olds satisfied. The great thing about Ice 4 is that it combines state-of-the-art technology with creativity and humour.
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift opens today