Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Movie Log: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

The family hadn't been to see a movie in the theater together in a while, so we wandered off to the local four-plex on Friday evening to eat overpriced popcorn from a gigantic vat and watch the three-quel Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

The short version: it's no better, and no worse, than the first two movies; it's amusing and doesn't actively stumble, but it's dumb, derivative, and incredibly obvious.

As is required with American mass-marketed sequels, the major theme is "how can friends stay together when things change in their lives" and at least one new, "zany" character must be added -- in this case, Simon Pegg as a crazy subterranean weasel. Also, since one of the subplots is about pregnancy, the male parent-to-be must be a frantic ninny whenever required for humor.

Given all of the constraints on it, Ice Age 3 isn't bad -- like the first two movies, it's a solid piece of all-American cheese, aimed right down the middle of American culture. These movies neither aim for the aggressively "hip" cultural references of DreamWork's animated movies, nor do they have any deep understanding of story and character like the folks at Pixar. Blue Sky is the Baby Bear of American animation -- neither Too Smart nor Too Dumb for Joe Sixpack, which makes them Just Right. There's no reason to see this movie unless you have children of a certain age, but -- if you do -- it will not be painful. (As long as you don't get any of that popcorn stuck in a difficult-to-reach place.)

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