Has there ever been a movie that you didn’t really want to see but everyone else thinks it’s so great so you go, fine I’ll give it a try? And it ends up being the not horrible, but you completely could’ve waited until the DVD or better yet not even bothered, movie you thought it would be. Ladies and gentleman, The Croods is that movie.
I’m not saying it didn’t have it’s cute moments but even at it’s best it was just okay. The Croods are a Neanderthal family at the time of great world change. I think it’s like the breaking up of Pangea but I’m not terribly sure. There is the stereotypical lovable oaf of a father Grug (Nicolas Cage), the dumb brother Thunk (Clark Duke), the equally cute and scary baby Sandy (Randy Thom), the sweet but not much depth mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), the mother-in-law with the stereotypical love/hate relationship with her son-in-law Gran (Cloris Leachman) and then there is the girl, Eep (Emma Stone). Now I will give them that she is a bit more than your usual spoiled, hormonal teenager and frankly the saving grace of this movie. She’s wanting to break out of the family tradition of fear. Yup fear. Grug believes being afraid of everything is what keeps them alive when other families have died. Run, hide, avoid all things new, and never go outside at night.
Now, of course, the daughter disobeys that and it turns out to be a good thing because she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who is a bit scrawny compared to the Croods but uses his brain instead of his brawn. Eep finds out from Guy that something coming that her father’s stay alive plan isn’t going to save them from. When disaster strikes, the Croods follow Guy, some more reluctantly than others, in search of safer ground.
Now this trip, which by the way drags on and on, we are introduced to a bevy of invention sight gags. Guy is a smart gadgeteer and the Croods, well they are Neanderthals. Had the Croods been presented as an ethnic minority there would’ve been cries of racism I’m sure. I got that Guy was the next evolution in man quickly without needing to have it driven home again and again. That being said Grug does get more than one chance at being important again but not much. And after a while this really started to bug me.
So in the end we learn new technology is cool and will save the day. But dad will always be the head of the family and the one you should follow and Ohana means fam… sorry wrong film. I don’t know why but this whole feature hit my cliche meter hard.
I can’t fault the the scenery, it was beautiful, and there were definite funny parts; but in the end I felt the whole thing was like an empty pinata, pretty on the outside, hollow in the inside. Maybe I’m being too harsh but Dreamworks has put out some really great features, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Rise of the Guardians spring immediately to mind. I just can’t say the same for this one.