Ice Age: Collision Course Voices of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo. Directed by Mike Thurmeier. Rated PG. Opens Friday citywide.
Will the Ice Age ever end? The actual ice age lasted millions of years, and the Ice Age movie series feels like it’s gone on for that long. The fifth installment in the franchise that started in 2002, Ice Age: Collision Course is easily the worst one yet, a lazy, unfocused, cluttered mess, with no reason for existing other than perpetuating the absurdly successful franchise (which makes tons of money overseas and stands as the second most successful animated series of all time, behind Shrek). What was once the simple story of a woolly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), a sabretooth tiger (Denis Leary) and a sloth (John Leguizamo) on a quest has ballooned into a never-ending family saga featuring more than a dozen characters, all voiced by celebrities who need multiple lines to speak in order to justify their paychecks.
Without any pretense of representing actual prehistoric life, Collison Course finds hapless squirrel Scrat discovering a hidden alien spaceship (you know, just like in the actual ice age), hurtling into the cosmos and accidentally sending a giant meteor toward Earth. The main mammals must stop this potentially world-ending catastrophe with a complex plan that rivals the plot of a Michael Bay movie, and is just as coherent and believable. The voice cast sounds weary after playing the same cute, one-dimensional animal characters for more than a decade, and even the animation is dull and uninspired. Kids who love the Ice Age characters will probably sit happily through Collision Course; then again, anyone who was an actual kid when the first movie came out should be old enough to know better by this point.