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REVIEW: Ice Age III

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:31 05 October 2010

Ice Age III

Ice Age III

By Peter Sherlock REMEBER some of the first tentative forays into bringing 3-D to the silver screen - such as Jaws III. Audiences wearing disposable cardboard glasses waited in anticipation of the one scene in which the great shark would loom up unc

By Peter Sherlock

REMEBER some of the first tentative forays into bringing 3-D to the silver screen - such as Jaws III.

Audiences wearing disposable cardboard glasses waited in anticipation of the one scene in which the great shark would loom up unconvincingly out of the screen. It was always a let-down.

Nowadays, the clever use of 3D wizardry can make for a spectacular and absorbing cinema experience.

So it is with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the third instalment in the animated blockbuster series.

Once again, the plot centres on the extended family led by woolly mammoth, Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), and his wife, Ellie (Queen Latifah), who is expecting their first baby.

Meanwhile, sabre-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary) fears he is losing his predatory touch and feckless sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) adopts three baby dinosaurs from eggs he steals.

When furious Dino mum appears and snatches back her triplets, along with their captor, Sid, the extended family set off in pursuit into a subterranean underworld where dinosaurs still exist.

Much-needed energy is injected with the introduction of Buck (Simon Pegg), a one-eyed weasel and mercenary, who agrees to help Manny and friends track down their friend.

Pegg brings a freshness and enthusiasm to the role, creating a manic, relentless and amusing new character, who steals the show throughout the much more satisfying second half.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs lacks the emotional depth of some classic children's films and relies too heavily on some pretty tired prehistoric gags. The first half, in particular, is a little dull.

It also lacks the smarter jokes usually weaved into the narrative to be picked up by mum and dad while the kids enjoy the action.

Nevertheless, the stunning 3D scenery and effortless camera trickery make for a highly enjoyable watch.

Some of the action sequences towards the conclusion - particularly one including snarling pterodactyls pursuing the madcap Buck - are as thrilling as they are well-made.

In a slightly lean summer blockbuster season, the return of this hugely popular franchise (which has now taken more than £1.2 billion worldwide) will please parents anticipating the school holidays.

While rated PG for some "mild humour and peril" scenes, Ice Age is suitable for young kids and teenagers alike. Just make sure you track down a cinema showing it in 3D.


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