Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Never one to let a good set of character merchandising go to waste, Fox have brought back Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguziamo) and Diego the sabretooth tiger (Denis Leary) for another adventure of the prehistoric kind.

Last time, they were caught up in a traditional tale of baby rescuing but this time things are much more 'right on'. The ice is melting and our intrepid trio - along with new friends, Ellie (Queen Latifah), a mammoth who thinks she's a possum, and her 'brothers' Crash (Sean William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) must head down the valley to escape the impending floods.

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As a premise, it isn't a bad one. It offers plenty of opportunity for friendship in the face of danger, a few scares that are less scary than your average episode of Dr Who and a comfy resolution. But it never quite comes off.

For one thing, the plot feels disjointed. While there is plenty of humour and action to keep kids entertained, it's as though the makers of this film split up into teams, all worked on a separate idea and then threw them all in a mammoth heap at the end.

So we are treated to several five-minute interludes from the star comedian - prehistoric squirrel Scrat - and his ongoing pursuit of an acorn, a couple of jammed in musical numbers, a strange, pointless and unfeasibly derivative sub-plot about a tribe of mini-sloths and some very stilted dialogue about the need for Manny to cop off with Ellie to further the species.

Playing up the 'last mammoth' storyline, raises the spectre of the birds and the bees which may well prompt some interesting questions once the credits roll. There is also a very gratuitous use of the word "crap" which has much stronger currency in the UK than in the film's native US.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Ice Age 2, however, is the lack of a credible bad guy. No one wants to scare kids - oh, okay, we might want to just a little bit - but I've seen cooked spaghetti with more tension. There are a couple of fish who swim up to the plate but - as they have no dialogue (perhaps they aren't in Equity?!), they never really feel like much of a threat. And the 'meltdown' itself offers too little, too late.

Although the slapstick and wisecracks will stop kids from getting bored, this is a far cry from films such as Shrek and Monsters Inc. While not a complete wash out, Ice Age: The Meltdown just isn't as cool as it should be.

Reviewed on: 31 Mar 2006
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Sid, Manny and Diego have another adventure - this time with a girl!
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Director: Carlos Saldanha

Writer: Peter Gaulke, Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow, Gerry Swallow

Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Will Arnett

Year: 2006

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: USA


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