Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
Rated PG; Directed by Carlos Saldanha; Starring the voice talents of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
“Ice Age” proved an okay animated film, but was there really any reason to bring back the characters for a sequel? Wooly mammoths, sloths, and saber-toothed tigers, plus all the other soon to be extinct animals make for a plodding film with predictable jokes and not much excitement, except for one amazing character that steals the show – Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel who lets nothing stand between him and his acorn.
Global warming has hit the ice age and all the creatures soon find their home imperiled by melting glaciers. Manny the wooly mammoth (voice of Ray Romano) leads his friends to higher ground. Along the way he, Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) meet up with two crazy possums and their bigger sister – way bigger. Ellie (Queen Latifah) is under the impression that she too is a possum, but may be Manny’s last hope for perpetuation of his species. She’s a mammoth too, but doesn’t know it.
The movie tries to set up a romance between Manny and Ellie, but using clichés where the two argue all the time, he accidentally insulting her, she getting upset at his stodginess – you know, the usual badly written romantic comedy staples. What helps this movie are the moments of madcap invention and they all involve the squirrel.
Scrat the squirrel and his love for the acorn make for hilarious segments. Interspersed throughout the main story, each time Scrat appears the film picks up and becomes laugh out loud funny.
The kids will enjoy “Ice Age 2,” but adults may get bored. Too bad the best character gets the least screen time.