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Summer heat can't stop Ice Age

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The crew from Ice Age gather again to bring chuckles and smiles to all. Photo from cnn.com.
This summer’s heat wave could not slow down “Ice Age: Continental Drift” as it opened in theaters July 13. Running time is 94 minutes.

The big three in Manny (Ray Ramano), Diego (Dennis Leary), and Sid (John Liguizamo) command the screen as they take us on another adventure across the ice fields and open seas in the ever changing landscape long before our time.

Don’t worry, Scrat the prehistoric squirrel who has had cameos in the previous three films is back with his acorn cracking antics. Just like the previous three films, Scrat opens up the scene trying to crack that seemingly uncrackable nut. This sets the scene for the movie and the monumental consequences of his loveable, laughable antics.

We quickly become reacquainted with some previous characters as well as some new ones. Mainly, we become acquainted with Manny’s part mammoth, part opossum daughter, Peaches (Keke Palmer), and quickly, the feeling sets in that there will be a struggle between the over protective father of Manny and teenage daughter Peaches.

After a brief argument over Peaches hanging out with her friends and Manny not allowing it, the continental shelf begins to break off leaving Manny on the opposite side of Peaches and wife Ellie (Queen Letifah).

The main theme and struggle for Manny, Diego, and Sid is to get back to their herd as they begin drifting further apart in the new ocean that is forming in front of their eyes.

As the current continues to drift the three out further away from land in the vast ocean, they soon cross paths with some new faces and unique characters that become a hindrance to them and their quest to make landfall.

Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), an orangutan pirate on the open sea, becomes the main antagonist, and upon meeting Manny, Sid, and Diego out at sea conspires to keep Manny on his ship to use his mammoth strength to help build a pillaging pirate ship.

After Gutt’s successful pirating of Manny, Diego, and Sid’s ship, we meet Gutt’s first mate Shira (Jennifer Lopez), a Siberian tiger whose mean purr becomes the antithesis to Diego. As the two battle one another, it becomes clear that there is chemistry between the two and Shira is the tigress that Diego has been looking for his entire life.

The struggle of getting back to land is not easy, but with help from Sid’s granny (Wanda Sykes), and her surprise friend in the ocean, it is hard not to laugh at the two’s interactions and differences as granny was dumped off to Sid as his responsibility when Sid’s family came into town to visit abandoning her.

As usual the big three of Ramano, Leary, and Liguizamo make “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” and” Ice Age” great films. With the addition of many different characters throughout the other “Ice Age” films, new twists and turns are added that keep making this franchise blockbuster hits.

Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier direct this fourth installment, and with a PG rating, there is some minor crude humor that would fly by most kids. This film deserves four out of five stars for family friendliness, and is a film that kids and adults can go see to take their mind off the summer heat.