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Ice Age: Collision Course by John Debney (Review)

posted Jul 25, 2016, 10:07 AM by Leo Mayr

The fifth and hopefully final Ice Age is upon us, proving once again that milking a franchise dry will result in the inevitable "space sequel". While the film has an abundance of great pop culture references and a few great laughs, in the end it just falls flat on cheap humour that'll entertain a bunch of 8-year olds at best. The basic emotional subplot ends up being so basic and generic, it could have been left out alltogether. While the film really isn't special and/or entertaining, John Debney composed a great orchestral adventure score. Following three Ice Age scores by John Powell, Debney takes over the franchise and delivers a fun and exciting score.

Immediately, you'll notice the heavy "space" influences in the music, most notably the grand desaster film elements, fueled by intense orchestral music and a loud choir, reminding of past disaster movies more than once. The film relies heavily on cheap slapstick humour, and Debney incorporates that into the score, nicely underlining the events of a scene. Combined with the intense apocalyptic segments, this leads to more than a few great pieces of music. At times, the music can feel very silly, and well, that's what the film is going for. Where the film becomes a pain to watch in some of these moments, Debney's score handles the back and forth between silly comedy and intense apocalypse pefectly, making the bold orchestral score enjoyable. For the most part, the orchestration is done perfectly, with only a few minor bumps along the way. Debney handles the peaceful side of things nicely, giving the score a small, yet effective emotional current that somehow drips through to the end. The film really doesn't leave any room for Debney to develop any of the themes, instead just frantically jumping from one silly thing to the next. You'll notice a small surprise at the end of the score in "Ice Age: Collision Course End Credits", a great and fun theme that's just so different from the rest, yet somehow did not end up anywhere in the actual film.

Debney's score has a lot going for it, with fun and exciting music perfectly underlining the (not so great) slapstick humour of the film, intense moments of an impending apocalypse and a nice emotional core. The great orchestration makes the music rather enjoyable. Sadly, the spirit of the score can't seem to infuse into the actual film as a whole and thankfully remains a great a standalone experience in this case.