Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

July 30 2009 at 7:15 am (Cinema reviews)

iceage_3_posterRemember when Toy Story first came out and everyone wanted to see it, even adults? Grown-ups packed into cinemas worldwide telling themselves that cartoons aren’t just for kids, and they were right. When Ice Age came out, that theory still held water, but there are many moments in this second sequel where you step outside yourself and realise that you and your mates are watching a kids film.

Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s a marked improvement on the utterly forgettable Ice Age: The Meltdown, for a start. After a long set-up in which sabre-toothed tiger Diego (voiced by Denis Leary) is bored and restless, mammoths Manny and Ellie (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) are expecting a baby and sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) is lonely, we finally see what’s below the ice – a lost civilisation of dinosaurs. The fact that this doesn’t make any sense (the big scaly ones live below the surface of the ice and still manage to live in a sun-drenched world) is neither here nor there – it’s all about ridiculous spectacle rather than historical accuracy.

There’s plenty for the kids, of course – even the dinosaurs aren’t convincingly scary. In fact, it’s not until Simon Pegg’s adventurous one-eyed weasel Buck shows up, that anything remotely interesting happens – proof, if it were needed, that Gloucester’s finest export makes any film 64% better (or whatever percentage is cool these days), even if he’s only lending his voice. The story might be nonsense but there are enough spills and thrills to keep adults awake until the end credits. Watching it in 3D, however, is rather pointless. There’s nothing to warrant spending another an extra £2 to wear some oversized glasses that don’t improve the film.

Rating: 3/5

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