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July 11, 2009

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age 3 Perhaps better able to disguise of its lacking narrative cohesion when screened in its intended 3-D context, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" never properly invites the audience into its messy world of familial trust. A saving grace comes with a more plot inclusive role than the first two "Ice Age" installments for Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel whose obsession with obtaining an ever-elusive giant acorn is this time sidetracked by a frisky female member of his species. Vocal performances by Ray Romano and Queen Latifah leave much to be desired, and enable John Lequizamo to steal the picture with his pitch perfect execution of Sid the Sloth, whose theft of several dinosaur eggs sets the story in motion. Very pregnant woolly mammoth Ellie (voiced by Latifah) and hubby mammoth Manny (Romano) go on adventure with Denis Leary aging saber-toothed tiger Diego, deep into an underground world of prehistoric dinosaurs where a swashbuckling one-eyed weasel named Eddie (Simon Pegg) serves as a guide. Eddie's pirate personality clashes with the tone of the story which welcomes dinosaurs to the "Ice Age" that was, well, responsible for their species' demise. For a kids' movie with the potential to be at least somewhat historically accurate in the interest of informing children about landmark events in the Earth's history, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" fails to do even that.     
Rated PG. 93 mins. (C) (Two Stars)

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