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I didn’t have particularly high expectations for this film, not because of the negative reviews it has received so far but because I think it’s fair to say there’s a consensus that Ice Age should have stopped at the second film.

Just like Shrek, the first film was hilarious, clever and unique. The sequels of both were also very good, not as good as the first films but still, great. Then both made the same mistake, the classic error. The third film, and to make it even worse, the fourth.

I hate it when this happens as I suspect most people do. A great film comes out but the filmmakers ruin it by not knowing when to stop. It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean, such an amazing film but they should have just left it alone!

Regardless, I watched Ice Age 4 because even though massive laughs can no longer be expected, there’s just something enjoyable about the films and I suppose it’s easy to continue the story.

This instalment sees the trio separated from Manny’s family after their continent is set adrift. Trapped on an iceberg in the middle of the ocean, Manny is determined to make his way back to Ellie and Peaches, but his efforts are hindered by the nefarious Captain Gutt and his band of pirates who are just as determined to keep him from getting home.

Scratt of course makes his usual appearance in his endless quest for the elusive acorn, which somehow I still find amusing. Simple pleasures.

I suspect my enjoyment of the film can in large part be put down to it reminding me of being a child. It’s nostalgic and familiar even if it’s not laugh out loud funny. Well, I did laugh out loud once…but let’s be honest, that’s not enough for what’s supposed to be a comedy movie.

What I did enjoy about this film was that it went back to the old gang, Manny, Sid and Diego. Kind of. It switched between them and other characters continuously but still, it was nice to see the three amigos on an adventure alone again, even if just for a little while.

There are a number of new characters though none particularly held my interest. The only one I found slightly funny was Sid’s feisty and cranky Granny, but even with her I felt there were too many desperate attempts for laughs.

It’s certainly not great, but it wasn’t completely dreadful. It was better than the third film so that’s something; it could have been a lot worse! Take it for what it is-a light hearted and fun movie-and you’ll probably enjoy it.

5/10.