Vote now for Best of Detroit 2021

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2006 at 12:00 AM

The first Ice Age, though hardly an animated classic, was likable enough. Its animation and storyline were no match for Pixar, but it had some nifty imagery and funny moments with the Chuck Jones-inspired Scrat, a prehistoric acorn-obsessed squirrel.

The sequel is smart enough to recognize the appeal of pummeling the crap out of cute little critters and gives the single-minded Scrat a lot more screen time, brightening up the film's otherwise tepid story.

Manny (Ray Romano), the woolly mammoth hero, and his pals Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the giant sloth (John Leguizamo) discover that glaciers are melting and an epic flood is only days away. As the animals hightail it to an ark-like boat, Manny fears he's the last of his kind. Quicker than you can say "plot development," he stumbles into Ellie (Queen Latifah), a female mammoth (who thinks she's a possum).

It's a thin premise to hang a movie on, and the filmmakers work hard to keep our interest with jokes that range from the inspired — vultures singing to Oliver's "Food, Glorious, Food" — to the insipid. Unfortunately, very little of the humor comes from the characters themselves. This is what separates a decent waste of time from a classic. And every time Meltdown (like its predecessor) finds some dramatic footing, it falls flat on its face with Disney-like mawkishness.

Leguizamo does a good job with Sid the Sloth, but has too little screen time. Romano, whose sarcastic asides can be brilliant, is neutered of any personality, and Latifah is a bore. Perhaps the film's biggest crime is its inability to wring a single laugh out of Denis Leary. Why is Hollywood so incapable of effectively harnessing this man's comic talents?

Except for the slightly better visuals, Ice Age: Meltdown does little to improve upon the original. But one thing can be said in the movie's favor: It, unlike the Bush administration, believes in the dangers of global warming. Still, that's no excuse for spending millions on lukewarm entertainment.

Jeff Meyers writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation