Complete A-Z list

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (3D)


Stars: Voices: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart

Director: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier

There's no reason why a franchise shouldn't continue indefinitely - think of James Bond - as long as standards are maintained. And the latest adventure of Manny the mammoth (Romano), Sid the sloth (Leguizamo) and Diego the sabre-tooth tiger (Leary) is lively enough, even if its humour derives more from The Three Stooges than anything else. Children will smile at this, though, and, after all, it's good clean fun.

Prehistoric squirrel Scrat, the Wile E Coyote of the Ice Age films, is still in pursuit of his giant acorn, and even discovers paradisal Scratlantis at the end, only to blow the idyll through sheer greed. Meanwhile, in the main story, the earth cracks apart once more (Scrat having been responsible for dividing it into continents) and Manny, Sid and Diego, together with Sid's toothless granny (Sykes) find themselves marooned on an ice floe and drifting away from Manny's mate and hormonal teenage daughter (Latifah and Palmer, reunited from Joyful Noise).

Our heroes soon find themselves taken by prisoner by Captain Gutt (Dinklage), a giant, grinning orang-utan, and his scurvy crew, led by first mate Shira (Lopez), a white sabre-tooth, providing an obvious love interest for Diego, who is soon smitten. 'He's got the L-word,' notes Manny. 'Yeah,' says Sid, dozier than ever. 'It's leprosy.'

Real wit, though, is in a short supply, although there are flashes of inspiration here and there and it's nice to see the voice cast matched with their characters at the end of the film - and 3D is used to sometimes stunning effect.

Showing before this is a sweet, carefully-honed Maggie Simpson five-minute short The Longest Day Care. 7/10.

David Quinlan

USA 2012. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
88 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 09 Jul 2012