'Ice Age: The Meltdown'
A merry saga of death, extinction, and migratory depletion, this sequel may be the grimmest entertainment for kids since Uncle Walt killed Old Yeller. Underneath the intermittently funny slapstick, there's a worldview in which everything exists to eat, be eaten, and die. Struggling to stay off the menu are Diego the saber-toothed tiger (voice of Denis Leary), Sid the sloppily sibilant sloth (John Leguizamo), and Manny the lonely mammoth (Ray Romano), who head for higher ground to escape a flood. (That's as compelling as the story getsa long walk.) A romantic subplot about a possum-raised mammoth (Queen Latifah!) tries to put the warm in global warming, but the unappealing character designs, incessant celebrity-voice chatter, and slickly inexpressive 3-D animation thwart any emotional pull. The only feeling that registers is hungerthat of show-tune-singing vultures, unfrozen sea monsters, and especially the starving scene stealer called the Scrat. Watching this zoo of long-vanished quadrupeds, you're left with an eerie message for our own warming times: They fought the thaw, and the thaw won.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful