Buck Wild’s Ice Age Adventures

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The “Ice Age” series started in 2002 with Ice Age, a mildly entertaining if not completely forgettable film that tells the story of three unlikely friends trying to survive an extinction event together. The film starred Ray Romano as Manny, John Leguizamo as Sid, and Denis Leary as Diego. It was a success and a franchise is flourishing.

Next entries – The Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), notable only for featuring Queen Latifah’s introduction of Ellie (as well as her “brothers” Eddie and Crash) to the band; The Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009); Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012); and The Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) – suffered from the law of diminishing returns as each sequel became more outdated and trod more on the perpetuation of sight gags and cheap humor than the familial relationship between the main characters. The now endless series continues with Buck Wild’s Ice Age Adventures, a film so poorly constructed that you might be inclined to think that Sid the Sloth helped put it together.

The new film continues the adventures of two possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris) as they decide to leave the comfort of their homes to live an independent life. They soon find themselves in the lost world of dinosaurs which was discovered in Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Luckily, the gang’s old friend Buck Wild (Simon Pegg) stumbles upon them and takes them under his wing to keep them safe.

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg in “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild”. © 20th Century Studios/courtesy Everett Collection.

Now the movie becomes a race against time to stop big-brained triceratops Orson (Utkarsh Ambudkar) from destroying the happy ecosystem that exists in the Lost World. Of course, meanwhile – Ellie (Dominique Jennings), Sid (Jake Green) and Diego (Skyler Stone) – are looking for Crash and Eddie. At least we’re supposed to assume they are, since that aspect of the story isn’t covered in great detail. (Perhaps this was done to distract from the fact that the characters are now being voiced by three completely new actors.)

Either way, there’s not much to enjoy about this film which comes in at a thankfully short 82 minutes that still feel a tad too long. Everything seems forced and simply crammed into a script by Jim Hecht, William Schifrin and Ray De Laurentis who feel designed by a poorly built scripting computer. There are few examples of legitimate entertainment in director John C. Donkin’s film.

While the series may have started off on a relatively high note, it proved unsustainable over the course of four, and now five, subsequent films. Although Buck Wild’s Ice Age Adventures may find some solace in entertaining a small core audience, it does little to add to the anticipation of a glimpse into the new adventures of Mr. Wild.

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