Film reviews

Ice Age: The Meltdown, Dir; Carlos Saldanha Cert; U

With the massive success of 2002's Ice Age, which grossed over $380m worldwide, a sequel was essentially guaranteed. So Ice Age: The Meltdown was born, with the same characters, the same director (albeit solo this time) and, unfortunately, an all too similar plot. Sid, Manny and Diego need to escape an imminent flood, so are travelling across country in a race against time again. Along the way they form new friendships, battle dangers, and fight predators, again. If this sounds all too unoriginal for you, don't worry - if you're a fan of Ice Age you'll most likely enjoy this film too.

The herd is still together from the first film. Sid the Sloth, Manfred the Mammoth and Diego the Sabre-tooth Tiger are happily living with lots of other animals at one end of a valley. Sid is looking after children in a day-care centre, but thankfully this doesn't last too long before the plot takes over (Sid's character in the wrong setting could be the new Jar Jar Binks, and annoying children bullying him is the wrong setting). The animals discover that the ice is melting and they must make it to the other end of the valley in three days to find a 'boat' that could save them from the flood. Sid, Manny and Diego separate from the other animals and meet up with Ellie, a mammoth who thinks she's a possum, and her 'brothers' Crash and Eddie, who are possums.

My biggest criticism of this film is that the story doesn't really hold up for a 90 minute film, so there are elements which seem to be included to pad it out a bit but don't really add anything to the film overall. The start is very slow going, and I almost found myself bored at one point (although just as I realised I was getting bored the film picked up), and I could have done without the storyline with Sid and the tribe of sloths he meets. One time-filler is a welcome addition though - Scrat's back, and he's still after his acorn. Scrat's sequences are probably the best parts of the film, although they feature heavily in the trailers so you will have likely seen half of them before.

Most animated films will aim to get a couple of big stars to voice the lead characters. This isn't so much the case with Ice Age: The Meltdown - John Leguizamo, Ray Romano and Denis Leary provide the leads. All of these actors are well known (Romano more so in America than England) but none are big Hollywood names. With Seann William Scott, Queen Latifah and Jay Leno the biggest additional names on the voice list this time around, there's enough talent to deliver the excellent script but I wasn't distracted by the 'guess-the-voices' game that I usually spend half an animated film playing.

If you liked Ice Age, you'll like The Meltdown as well. It's a little slow going at first, but overall is amusing, has some good lines dotted around the script and some great slapstick comedy from Scrat. It's a movie made for kids, but has enough to keep the adults happy too. Great fun for an hour and a half of entertainment and relaxation. 7/10

Andy Ingram

Odeon Online


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