You may be wondering what a sixth movie could add to the Ice Age series. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild adds extended screen time for brothers Crash and Eddie. What better way to expand the Ice Age series than by focusing on the two funniest side characters and giving them arcs? Except the writers still manage to make them secondary characters in what – at least from the synopsis – seems to be their movie.
The Disney+ exclusive promises to continue the zany escapades of some of the Ice Age crew. The original group included mammoths Manny and Ellie, saber tooth tiger Diego, Sid the sloth, and possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris). This time, the brothers venture out on their own, away from their older sister Ellie (Dominique Jennings) and everyone else’s constant berating. Reusing the setting from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and reintroducing the adventurous Buck Wild (Simon Pegg), writers send Crash and Eddie off to find their destiny in the Lost World.
Warning: this review contains spoilers!
The movie begins with Ellie sketching everyone’s backstories on a cave wall, refreshing viewers’ memories. Cut to Crash and Eddie, who are up to their usual antics, causing an avalanche for the sake of entertainment, which destroys the group’s habitat. After getting reprimanded, the brothers sneak away while everyone else is asleep, pausing only to say goodbye to their sister. This sentimental moment leads viewers to believe that the possums’ character development has begun, but they return to their irresponsible antics as soon as they are on their way.
Twenty minutes into the movie, the brothers step into the Lost World and face several near-death experiences. Thankfully, possums, as Eddie explains, have four or 11 lives, and Buck Wild appears in time to save the pair. As they try to escape, they encounter the villain of the story, Orson. He is an escaped convict with a superiority complex to hide his insecurities from years of bullying because of his colossal brain (it literally protrudes). His character can be summed up by an exchange he has with Buck where he says, “Well, not everyone has my colossal intellect,” to which Buck responds, “Which is dwarfed only by your ego and insecurity.” This is also a top-tier line from the movie.
Unfortunately, there are few other memorable lines. The Ice Age movies have lots of funny moments, but this movie's jokes are forced and unoriginal. Crash and Eddie have been comically dumb in previous films, but in Adventures of Buck Wild, they are just dumb.
After Buck and the brothers escape to his bachelor pad, he catches viewers up on what will be the primary plot of the movie: defeating the power-hungry Orson. He wants to rule the Lost World and rid it of all mammals who “infect” the ecosystem with their fur and warm blood: “Dinos rule. Mammals drool,” says Orson.
Then, since the movie needs more characters – the original group is still in the film but are busy searching for the brothers – we are introduced to Zee (Justina Machado), a zorilla (which is very different from a skunk, okay) and Buck’s old friend. They share a bitter past, and their rocky relationship becomes yet another subplot to the movie.
Now, with less than 30 minutes left in the movie, how can the original plot of the brothers forging their own path be completed? How can the heroes (who are Zee and Buck, not the stated protagonists Crash and Eddie) defeat the evil Orson and create harmony between all creatures in the Lost World? More importantly, what are the possums adding to this movie besides slowing down Buck and Zee in defeating Orson?
Then, with 20 minutes left, the mammals defeat Orson by turning his velociraptors against him and the brothers finally begin to show signs of character development: they use their common sense.
Crash and Eddie’s slight use of common sense is enough for them to declare their independence from the pack and stay in the Lost World to help keep the peace. This doesn't stop them from visiting their sister daily for meals, however, a tidbit that destroys the little character development they got.
Buck and Zee grew far more throughout the movie than the possum brothers, mending their relationship and defeating Orson. The film’s plot would have made more sense if Crash and Eddie had not been so central in its marketing. They just don't play a significant enough role. Overall, the Ice Age writers prioritized squeezing more money out of this franchise over adding anything new or relevant to it.