By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
A thaw is coming for the Ice Age franchise. Interest is melting and if it somehow manages to cling on like The Land Before Time series (now with 14 movies) then maybe another film or two can be chipped out. Whatever the outcome, this fifth outing offers nothing really new to the plate. It’s the same outline. Manny (Ray Romano) is a Mammoth making a life for himself. He once thought he was the last of his species, but in the course of several films, he discovers he is not alone, and the cold wasteland is not as lonely now that he’s paired with a love of his life — and has an extended family. Sid (John Leguizamo) is a sloth and Deigo (Denis Leary) is a saber-tooth tiger who keeps life interesting. Through the course of the first three films, these three have formed a bond where they respectively look out for each other.
Then, there’s the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat (Chris Wedge). He’s an enigma in the series, hardly ever interacting with the protagonists, and all he does is provide hilarious slapstick antics of his love for the acorn. He’s trying to find the best spot to store it, but never has any luck. The humour is starting to pale, and they are not as charming as his earlier attempts. The big reason is because he had to know the lay of the land. To send him to space has to be the worst idea ever. If the Minions, Scrat and Penguins were to compete for the position of number one, Scrat is slipping to bottom place.