Ice Age: The Meltdown acknowledges something the Bush administration doesn’t believe in: global warming. It’s the tail-end of the Ice Age and the Naderesque turtle that warns all the valley animals about melting icecaps is seen as a false prophet—like one of those homeless people you see outside major New York City train terminals screaming about the end of the world. Finally convinced, the animals march toward the end of their ice-locked valley to mount a “ship” (read: Noah’s Ark) that will ostensibly save them when their land is flooded. Scrat, whose cute but quickly tiring existential nut crisis splinters the film into choppy sitcom pieces, inadvertently saves the day (spoiler alert): his mad pursuit of food cracks a wall of ice that sends all the dangerous ice water spilling out of the valley in DeMillesque Ten Commandments fashion. Is this film trying to say something to Dubya’s base with all this bibilical imagery? Regardless, this is the extent of the film’s intelligent design. Just because the film pans out in a prehistoric setting is no excuse for the ugly, uninspired animation, lame, straight-to-video storyline (Ray Romano’s Manny gets his freak on with another wholly mammoth who thinks she’s a possum—played by, gulp, Queen Latifah), and dorky “with it” humor, which ranges from the nonsensical (given that all the animal children think candy comes out of John Leguizamo’s sloth character if they whack him hard enough, the Ice Age was ostensibly transitioning into the Mexican Era) to the downright asinine (a pair of possums call to mind Johnny Knoxville and Steve O. punking the world around them, and a beaver’s idea of a curse word is, natch, “dam”). Perhaps appropriate for a film that suggests a rotten version of a Pixar production, two dinosaur-like creatures frozen during the Ice Age come to life when the icecaps around them melt. Good news for Walt, but it’s very hard to trust a film that believes just as strongly in the dangers of global warming as it does in the possibilities of cryogenic reanimation.
- Carlos Saldanha
- Jon Vitti
- Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Dennis Leary, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Queen Latifah, Will Arnett, Jay Leno, Chris Wedge
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