The Croods – Another Modern Stone Age Family? – Review

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The Croods

Photo Courtesy 20th Century Fox

I remember liking this movie so much better back when it was called Ice Age and had that funny Scrat.  The Croods desperately needs a Scrat.

Emma Stone stars as Eep – a teenage cavegirl who wants to explore the world, but her father, Grug (Nicolas Cage), has trained the entire family to fear everything.  In his defense, they are surrounded by all sorts of prehistoric animals who want to make The Croods into dinner.

However, Eep wanders out one night and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds).  Guy is a bit more evolved, and he is moving away from this land as the continents start to drift apart.  Grug, Eep and the rest of the family end up following Guy after it becomes apparent they no longer can stay in their cave, but the tensions between the two men are starting to boil over.

Will The Croods find safety and happiness in a new land?

Are Eep and Guy destined to be in love forever?

The Croods will never be called amazing, but it has its moments of being entertaining.  It is the embodiment of the blandly mediocre as it teases you with the potential of being something better, but never reaching greatness.  It’s the Dallas Cowboys of the movies.

Writers/directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders go through all of the predictable motions without ever making The Croods silly and goofy enough for young kids (who wouldn’t see all of the predictability), and not making it smart enough to get adults to stand up and take notice.  We even have a character who has one very funny moment, only to watch that moment recreated to diminished results, like a TV sit-com developing a catch phrase, so they can sell T-shirts.

And, I am not kidding when I tell you the entire plot and character traits are lifted from Ice Age.  I know they say if you are going to rip someone off you should steal from the best, but these guys could have aimed even higher if they wanted massive success.

Stone doesn’t get much of a chance to make anything out of Eep, since the material is basic, but Cage does pluck at your heart strings when Grug decides to make a big sacrifice for the family.  His enormous talent warms up the situation and gets the audience to feel a real emotion for the first time in the entire movie.  He’s the only person involved in this film actually trying to act, instead of just reading his lines.  Meanwhile, Reynolds is so non-descript I didn’t realize he was the voice of Guy until The Croods was almost over.

The Croods is a down the middle compromise where no one really wins and no one really loses.

2waffles_sml2 Waffles (Out of 4)

The Croods is rated PG for some scary action.

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