The (real) kids won't mind if you join them
MOVIE REVIEW: Ice Age 4
CONSPICUOUSLY, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is the only instalment in the Ice Age series that is not directed by Carlos Saldanha.
With any Ice Age movie, it being a computer-generated animation, you can rest assured that creativity ranks high but the voices and effects hold the key to a positive or negative reception.
This type of genre is not easy to thrash to pieces, simply because there's usually no room to go that route, save for storyline and production comparisons with the previous instalments.
Now let's speak baby language - you're right, this movie is entertainment for the kids (real kids, not for octogenarians like yourself).
But because I'm a generous reviewer I say you're welcome to see it because it's not the first time you'll be seeing an Ice Age movie, and you and I know that you thoroughly enjoyed doing so.
We also both know that there are strange names and strange-looking (all) prehistoric animals (with difficult scientific descriptions) galore.
I mean, the lead character, Scrat, is a sabre-tooth (two long teeth hanging out of the mouth) squirrel. Then there's Sid, a Megalonyx (a giant sloth, basically a huge mammal with between two and three toes, which might resemble a monkey) and there's Soto, head of the Smilodon tribe.
In Ice Age 4: Continental Drift the setting has changed and most of the action takes place on a brand-new ocean. And of course, Scrat - in what adds a comical chunk to the film - is still pursuing that difficult-to-catch nut.
Just to recall his shenanigans, remember when, after being chased by a gigantic glacier and narrowly escaping being struck by lightning, he tried to roast the nut and almost burnt it beyond recognition?
Anyway, Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo) is one of the voices as Shira, a sabre-tooth cat, and Diego has a big crush on her.
The movie sees the rise of Scrat (Chris Wedge) as the main protagonist. But from where I'm standing as a wised-up adult, I think the three writers (Michael Berg, Jason Fuchs and Mike Reiss) didn't carry out their mandate to perfection.
They did half a job in the script department and maybe the new directors, Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, had something to do with it.
But that doesn't matter because the animation is so astonishing I can see the kids' eyes popping out with excitement - they'll love it.
In Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Scrat is devastated when his pursuit of the elusive nut ends cracking up the prehistoric continent that makes the Earth and his co-stars, friends Peaches (Keke Palmer) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are separated by ice slices.
Gosh, there's even over-sold Nicki Minaj as Hailey, a woolly mammoth. My, my, my. No, that doesn't mean I'm impressed by her but her voice does justice to the character.
And I know that the youngsters will force your hand to buy the DVD (maybe alongside the still-on-circuit Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted) once it's out. Obviously, you won't be bored if you tag along too.