Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Rated PG

When franchises start winding down and a film series starts to run out of fresh ideas, the makers often turn to gimmicks. This can be seen in cheesy horror flicks, where every franchise seems destined to end up in outer space. However, since the latest entrant in the animated Ice Age series, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, centers around prehistoric mammals, it’d be too much trouble to shoot them into the deepest, darkest recesses of space. Instead, the whopping five writers behind this movie have taken a page from Art Bell and decided on an Ed Wood-level of suspension of disbelief by creating a land of dinosaurs tucked away inside the Earth. All the characters — and voice actors — are back for the third film. There’s Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano) and his now pregnant wife Ellie (Queen Latifah), Diego the saber-tooth tiger (Dennis Leary), and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo). And of course, there’s Scrat, the half-squirrel, half-rat that shows up throughout the film. As writing, it’s lazy, while the dialogue, jokes (consisting mostly of Romano cracking wise and demonstrating yet again why his film career never took off) and requisite pop-culture references are no better. The only bright spot — aside from being an admittedly handsome-looking film — is Simon Pegg as a crazed survivalist weasel.

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