Saturday, July 04, 2009

"Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D" (2009) - Movie Review

This is the franchise reinventing back to the basics. It has the herd living the domestic life with Manny (voice of Ray Romano) and Ellie (voice of Queen Latifah), an old tiring Diego (voice of Denis Leary) (come on! These beings need to get old some point) and the annoying yet the clown of the crowd Sid (voice of John Leguizamo). The side kicks Eddie (voice of Josh Peck) and Crash (voice of Sean William Scott) are there too doing their thing but it is the show of Simon Pegg as the crazy and daring Buck which sizzles the film.

As the adventure in the animation, regardless of the patient and artistic effort put forth, anything can be brought alive. Here we see a lava river and a huge water fall of it too. And as Sid is floating on it over a rock, he tries to paddle and it catches fire. We feel the heat and I am not saying it because of the 3D. The effects sure are reproducible as the predecessors but this time they know that the disaster of second installment needs rectification. They do so with Buck and a colourful world lying right beneath the cold surface of theirs.

Sid has been the clown and the friend like a wife. His character is based such that he cannot exist on his own. Diego on the other hand can but with Manny expecting his first child, the feel of something more than the ordinary life of his, which is to hunt and make fun of Sid. Latter never is tough and never gets boring but hunting has been a bumpy ride with a ferocious chase ending with the deer making the most humiliating and funny dance mocking Diego. It is time to hone his skills back again and the family environment is not going to make it any better.

I almost feel a little too crazy to seriously psychoanalyze these extinct animated animals to a considerable of degree of humanism. It is not a surprise though as director Carlos Saldanha with co-director Mike Thurmeier are in the industry of creating something more out of a kids film. When Sid follows Diego’s path of finding his own family, he stumbles on huge eggs and Sid being Sid begins to nurture. Next day he gets up to find three cutest dinosaurs mimicking his moves and assumes him as their mama. That would end in the real mama dinosaur getting back and taking Sid along to the world underneath. Understandably the herd goes back to rescue the friend.

There comes Buck. A weasel on several Red Bull perform fast stunts with nifty cleverness. It is not choreographed but is a dance of super high octane acts. Simon Pegg does not become an accent alone but a rejuvenating experience for the franchise getting old. Suddenly everything is lightened up and when Manny and crew asks for help, Buck tells rules like Tyler Durden and means it seriously. Then again he erases it as he thinks through in the journey. If this film which is nothing but a formula-done-well becomes an exciting movie, it is because of Pegg’s Buck. As Eddie and Crash see him as this action hero idol, so do we and is no doubt will be the favourite character as their poster in the kid’s room. (It will be my desktop background for sure)

Kids are easy to please, atleast I was (on a more expensive level though in toys but in films, I did not care much as a kid) and in the coming films of animation, they want to make it fun for the parents accompanying them. In that there is the challenge of being within the line but stretch enough to entertain the adults and while the kids do not get much of it, still are giggling in the physical comedy of that scene. This film joins that list of other animation movies doing it right within the realm of those possibilities.

The 3D is not a distraction for once. I decided to not see “Up” in 3D because I knew that Pixar’s film would be more about the story than the screen cracking up into the objects of volume. Here the 3D is applied where it needs to be. Hence we fly through the snow filled mountains and coniferous trees with pleasure. We follow Buck through his flying acrobatic spectacles and walk alongside Manny and crew. The action in its creation gets more comic timing than the real stunt. The final showdown with the obvious Ellie giving birth with danger surrounding while Diego and Manny fighting strange creatures is put up but perfectly played. The extended finale of Buck battling the fearful and clandestine Rudy (for such a big dude, he sneaks up on people) is the right finish. “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” redeems the mistake of the second installment of this franchise.

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