By Mikhail Chernyavsky

Why is this franchise not extinct yet?

In this poor sequel, “Ice Age: Continental Drift” floats far away from the characters that made the first film so fun to watch.

This fourth installment in the franchise even manages to suck the fun out of Scratch’s endless journey to get his acorn. That was one of the most entertaining parts of the films, but it managed to recycle the same jokes for easy laughs.

I understand that this is supposed to be a children’s film. However, if this is the standard to which we hold children’s entertainment, then it’s no wonder film and television is making kids dumber.

Allow me to go on my old-person rant: When I was a young warthog, we had films with Shakespearean themes (yes, “The Lion King”), cartoons had accompanying music composed by real musicians (“Looney Toons”), and the characters were voiced by real actors, not the flavors of the week.

Drake and Nicki Minaj lend their voices to the film, along with the rest of the cast. The emphasis is on lend.

There’s no acting. All they do is talk into a microphone and have their voices put onto some extinct animals.

No longer did I get lost in what the characters were saying, but the whole time I couldn’t help but think that is Ray Romano talking for a mammoth (Manny).

So, if you really don’t care what your children mindlessly watch and you need a break from them, by all means, throw them in front of this movie. This is the type of film that you put on because you need a break from all the running around and screaming.

The only part that really stuck with me is after a quick reunion, Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo) makes a quip to his Granny (voiced by Wanda Sykes) about the gang’s previous adventure that pretty much sums up the direction of this franchise.

“We fought dinosaurs in the Ice Age. It didn’t make any sense, but it sure was exciting.”

Sid is right about one thing, it doesn’t make any sense.

The only thing that makes sense is that as long as these monotonous films continue to make money; studios will continue to make them.

So congratulations younger generation, this might just be your “The Land Before Time” franchise.


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