Tuesday, April 04, 2006

ICE AGE 2: More fun with the Exodus Gang

(animated comedy)
Time: 90 mins
Rating: * * *
The Exodus Gang led by Manny (right)
THE prehistoric exodus gang is back for another romp at the box-office but this time around, the plot is more or less the same as the first instalment. Thankfully, we still have the adventures of Scrat, the little sabre-tooth squirrel whose pursuit of the elusive acorn has provided some of the most riotous laughter. Why, he has even become the signature creature of the Ice Age series.

Here, director Carlos Saldana and scripter Jon Vitti have expanded his screen time, giving him an extra four or five minutes.The ice is melting and our three pals, Manny the Woolly Mammoth (voice of Ray Romano), Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the Sabre-tooth Tiger (Denis Leary) are on the move again to safer ground.

However, Manny is disturbed that he may be the last of the woolly mammoths — and his species is facing extinction. Imagine his relief when he meets another mammoth named Ellie (Queen Latifa) and her two ‘brother possums’ Crash (Sean William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). But before Manny and Ellie can start repopulating their species, he has to convince Ellie that she is a mammoth — and not a possum. Ellie, who was abandoned at birth, has been brought up by a possum clan — and she is under the delusion that she is one of them.

This ‘theme’ provides a few laughs — as do some other characters like Fast Tony the Turtle (Jay Leno) and a vulture named Lone Gunslinger (Will Arnett). Character development for the three protagonists looks minimal. The gags seem to have been repeated — with Sid still trying to earn the respect of his buddies, and Diego trying to conquer his fear of water in order to survive in the New Age brought about by global warming. If Ice Age 2 lacks a proper plot, it makes up for it with some tension and suspense in the form of vicious attacks by two pre-Ice Age sea monsters. These marauders, no doubt, will evolve into sharks.

However, the most impressive aspect of this sequel is its new and improved graphics. Animators have always had a problem depicting water but here, the water looks so real that we feel wet just watching it. At last, they have got the colours and bubbles just right. Also, unlike the first instalment, Ice Age 2 has more to appeal to the kids than the adults. Most of the characters are exaggerated for comic potential and the movie is bound to teach the children a thing or two about global warming.

As a sequel, Ice Age 2 is adequate. It cannot compete with Shrek and The Incredibles but it had all the children and adults laughing during a show at One Utama in Petaling Jaya last week. That’s more than I can say for many other so-called comedies.


At 9:12 pm, Anonymous Ivan said...

You should really consider remarketing your movie-review blog. I think virtually no one visits it!

Maybe changing its look and get it spread around more. Maybe change its name.

I read it in the Malay Mail btw. lol. good luck

At 12:10 am, Blogger Lim Chang Moh said...

Hi Ivan,
Thank u for your suggestions. I really need to spend more time on the blog and have been putting it off due to personal commitments.
Thanks for your support.
I welcome any suggestion on how I can make it better.


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