Ice Age stuck in a major rut

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Watch the film trailer for ‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ starring the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Rauch, and Simon Pegg. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Ice Age 5: Collision Course falls flat.

Ice Age: Collision Course (G)

Directors: Michael Thurmeier, Galen Tan Chu

Starring: the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Devine.

Rating: **1/2

Neither crashes nor burns

THE previous Ice Age animated adventure comedy (2012’s Continental Drift) gave every indication the long-running franchise was fast running out of fresh ideas.

The world did not care a jot, and it wound up grossing well over a billion dollars at the global box-office.

So even though the creative rut continues uninterrupted with Collision Course, this fifth instalment in the series will serve as a perfectly disposable diversion for young children (particularly those who have already seen Finding Dory).

This time around, regulars Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-tooth tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo) must lead all prehistoric species to safety before a meteor smashes into Earth.

Longtime franchise fans will appreciate an upgraded role for long-suffering Ice Age mascot Scrat the squirrel, whose endless pursuit of that darned elusive acorn now extends into deep space.

Not only do Scrat and the acorn cause the radical realignment of the planets that triggers the impending meteor shower. They also pay a visit to Mars, where all vegetation and water will be vaporised by the end of the stay.

Though there is no perceptible drop in the high visual standards that the Ice Age series has always proudly displayed, the same cannot be said of either the screenwriters or the voice talent this time around.

Both departments grind through their work without breaking much of a sweat. Some of the inter-critter banter feels very familiar: maybe not quite repeated, but definitely rephrased.