HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Ice Age: Collision Course
HTS Overall Score:71
Fox is not exactly known for having a massive library of high quality animated titles like Dreamworks, Disney, Pixar, or even Universal. However they do have one or two hits that keeps them in the running, with the “Ice Age” franchise being their cash cow. In the early 2000 era “Ice Age” was a very solid hit that made the beloved prehistoric squirrel, Scrat, an iconic animated character. Strangely enough he has been the glue for the subsequent 3 films (or 4 if you’re counting this one) and additional short films that have become more than a bit derivative. Don’t get me wrong. I really enjoyed “Ice Age: Meltdown” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” was WAAAAAAAAAAY better than it should have been (thanks mainly to Simon Pegg who played Buck”, but the series really became long in the tooth with “Continental Drift”. “Ice Age: Collision Course” is a LEEETLE better than “Continental Drift” was, but sadly I think the series has run its course and turned into the next “Land Before Time” series, where the end is never in sight as long as they’re making profits, even with constantly eroding story lines and over baked humor.
The “Ice Age” series has tried hard to keep a consistent storyline throughout all the films and the inclusion of so many additional characters has really made it difficult, but not impossible, to keep track of everything. However, the main character that gets the most laughs will ALWAYS be the loveable Scrat. This time Scrat has chased that enigmatic acorn down into an ice block that houses an alien space ship (yes, you read that right), and somehow in his scrabbling over the nut launched it into space and created the solar system as we know it (you have to watch to see what I mean). Unfortunately he has also accidentally misdirected a giant asteroid towards earth and now the entire world is going to be taken out with this gigantic hunk of space rock.
Simultaneously we have a myriad of sub plots due to the overstuffed world of “Ice Age”. Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) the mammoths are dealing with their daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) upcoming marriage to doofus Julian (Adam Devine, who plays Julian AS Adam Devine). They’re the worried parents who are struggling to come to grips with the fact that their daughter is growing up and becoming an adult. Emphasis on the world BECOMING an adult. At the same time Diego (Dennis Leary), and his mate (played by J-Lo) are struggling with the idea of becoming parents, and Sid (John Leguizamo) is trying his very hardest to get a mate. Something in which he has not been very successful.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=82313[/img]With the introduction of the asteroid hurtling towards earth we are once again reunited with the underground dinosaur whisperer, Buck (Simon Pegg). Who just so happens to have found an ancient prophecy about the asteroid and is willing to go with them in an effort to thwart the big rocks’ plans of smashing up their home world. Toss in a handful of flying dinosaurs who want to make a meal out of buck as well as finding out that there is a fountain of eternal youth (where a certain moronic sloth may find his one true love) and you have a film that is crammed with everything you could possibly imagine in mess that is almost as overstuffed as thanksgiving dinner (and not nearly as palatable, unless you’re referring to that nasty green bean casserole that your aunt brings every year).
The “Ice Age” franchise has been enduring a little bit of diminishing returns lately. The first few movies were good to great, but the subsequent films have been very steadily dipping in quality. The same can be said for box office revenues as the last two movies have not done so hot, with “Collision Course” being a real stinker. I can’t say I blame audiences though. The series has been recycling the same humor over and over again and just riding on the coat tails of the previously inventive first couple of films. Scrat is the strange anomaly, though. Even if his antics are repetitive and overused, the crazed antics of the prehistoric squirrel trying to keep ahold of his acorn are the highlight of each and every movie. This time he gets mixed up with a frozen space ship (which was actually briefly shown in the very first movie if you look for it) and more hilarity ensues.
With the reintroduction of Buck into the equation I was REALLY hoping for a better film than “Continental Drift”, and for a short time, we almost got our wish. Buck was the very best part of “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and the first 15 minutes or with him back in the movie I was getting optimistic. However, the movie and the character start to lose steam fast as the same old tired jokes are trotted out. Even the addition of Nick Offerman as the father of the flying dinosaurs didn’t do much to increase the enjoyment factor. There’s some decent humor here and there, especially with the antics of Buck, but not enough to really rise above the last film very much. .
Rated PG for mild rude humor and some action/peril
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=82321[/img]Well, while “Collision Course” isn’t the greatest in terms of story, the video is still top notch, like all the rest in the franchise. Colors colors COLORS is the name of the game and “Collision Course” delivers in spades. Right from the get go you know you’re in for a teat as Scrat blasts his way out of the ice in the alien ship, and the film colors are obviously graded towards a more “purple” hue this time around. The gorgeous blues and whites of the icy landscape are still there, and they are punctuate by rich bits of green and primary reds when Buck is introduced into the story (underground dino central is jaw dropping). Fine detail is absolutely amazing with the digital animation showing off all sorts of little details ranging from the individual fur bits on Sid’s body to the feathers and drool emanating from the flying dinosaurs. Water is almost lifelike in the way it moves and shimmers and the deeper darker bits of the film don’t show any major artifacting. Digital animation has come a long way over the last couple of decades and the new stuff is capable of putting out some AMAZING looking images, and it’s become obvious that with a decent enough budget even the weakest of films can get a stellar looking picture.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=82329[/img]Continuing in the pattern of offering great 7.1 DTS-HD MA tracks, Fox has done a great job with the audio mix, with a nice layer of rumbly goodness mixed with an active soundstage that really plays to the strengths of the film’s chaotic nature. LFE is a good bit better than the anemic bass line of the previous film (I really had an issue with the very low bass levels in “Continental Drift”) but still is the one weak part of the whole mix. Dialog is crisp and clean, with each of the animals perfectly replicated in the center channel, while the surrounds and mains light up with the fun of diving around a trio of flying dinosaurs, or the crashing and rumbling of a giant crystal being forced into a volcano. Scrat blasting off into outer space and the ending volcano burst are easily the best parts of the track, which isn’t to say that the rest is low quality. It’s an overall great sounding mix and fantastic sounding 7.1 track for home theater.
- "Scrat: Spaced Out Mini-Movie"
- "Ice Age: The Story So Far"
- "Scratasia: Scrat's Solo Adventures"
- "Mysteries of the Scratazons"
- "Star Signs of the Animal Kingdom"
- "The Science of It All: deGrasse Tyson deBunks"
- "Figaro Sing-along"
• Gallery (12 images)
“Ice Age: Collision Course” is a repetitive little film that really proves that the franchise is stretching itself more than a little bit thin with the latest movies. Kids and those who enjoy the series so far shouldn’t have a problem with it, as this one is SLIGHTLY better than the previous film, but those who saw the signs a few movies ago may be less than pleased with the results. Fox still is doing a marvelous job with their Blu-ray and 4K releases, and the audio/video scores are simply amazing. Extras are solid enough and while I may not have enjoyed the film as much as the first couple, “Collision Course” is still a good babysitter and decent enough family entertainment.
Starring: Ray Romano, Dennis Leary, Queen Latifah
Directed by: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
Written by: Michael J. Wilson, Michael Berg
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1, French DTS-5.1
Runtime: 94 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 11th, 2016
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