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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 11, 2016

Ice Age 5: Collision Course Movie Review: Don't Be Surprised If There'd Be Ice Age 6

‘ICE AGE’ is one of the most successful franchises in animation history. The first one started in 2002, followed by “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” in 2006, then “3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” in 2009 and “4: Continental Drift” in 2012. We now have “Ice Age 5: Collision Course”, that starts with a hilarious prologue showing the saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat, in a frozen landscape looking for his acorn that forever eludes his grasp.

It so happens that the acorn gets inside a spaceship that is frozen inside a glacier. When Scrat accidentally pushes a lever, the flying saucer is activated and soars into outer space and hits the planets, much like the way that Scrat separates the continents apart in the animation short, “Continental Crack Up”. Without his knowing it, he has triggered what could have been the end of the world.

The movie opened here in Manila ahead of the U.S., where the number one movie at the box office is Pixar’s “Finding Dory” for three straight weeks now. Will “Ice Age 5” be the new movie to unseat Dory? We’ll find out soon.

While huge pieces of flaming meteors unleashed by Scrat are hurrying towards Planet Earth for a direct collision, the old friends we met from “Ice Age 1” are together again: Manny the wooly mammoth (voice by Ray Romano), his wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) and her boyfriend Julian (Adam Devine), plus Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the grumpy tiger (Denis Leary). Peaches and Julian are officially engaged but Manny has a hard time letting go of his only daughter.

It’s Buck (Simon Pegg), the one-eyed weasel we first met from “Ice Age 3”, who correctly predicts the coming disaster about a gigantic meteor about to strike our planet after reading the signs on a totem pole. He also figures out that this can be avoided by going to the valley where past huge meteors have fallen into. They have to put up a collection of magnetic rocks that will attract the incoming giant meteor and divert it to an active volcano.

We don’t know if Buck’s deductions are scientifically correct. Even Granny Sloth (Wanda Sykes) remarks: “That plan is so dumb I wish it had a face, so I could smack it!” But who cares? The important thing is that the daft cosmic energy that propels the franchise continues to prop it up and makes it all somewhat believable for those who are entertained by the Ice Age flicks.

This energy is evident even in the way the twin opossums, Crash and Eddie (Seann William Scott and Josh Peck), continue to act like a moronic Greek chorus giving all sorts of funny dumb comments. We already know that this menagerie of animals is a conglomeration of crackpots who can be ludicrous or outrageous, but still quite lovable. They’re not to be taken seriously but still, we somehow want them to survive the threat of our world being extinct with the coming of a giant meteor.

A big plus factor in the movie is the superb quality of the animation, with dazzling visuals executed with wit as it’s a combination of forest and snowy landscapes. The beautiful eye candy is filled with colorful patches of spectacular scenery, like Geotopia with its witty ShangriLlama (Jess Ferguson) leading its residents who are forever young because of its magnetic crystals. We won’t be surprised if there would be another sequel, so brace up for “Ice Age 6” three years from now.