New Dreamworks movie: great for kids, mediocre for adults
Ryan Reynolds is an intuitive ‘quipster’ who thinks outside of the box, Nicolas Cage plays an overbearing father trying to keep his family together, and Emma Stone plays his rebellious daughter yearning for freedom from her father’s control. These characters are known as Guy, Grug, and Eep; stars of “The Croods.”
This children’s movie explores the world of cavemen, early uncivilized humans who get into modern family shenanigans.
Grug (Cage) has always tried to keep his family alive in the harsh and dangerous environment they live in. His daughter Eep (Stone) meets a new early human named Guy (Reynolds) who is comically civilized in comparison.
The hijinks include laughs for the kids with physical comedy and simple humor. The opening action scene plays a lot like a Thanksgiving Day family game of football, where the Crood family works together to steal a nesting egg.
The humor works really well for the kids and there are plenty of jokes for parents watching too. The story, written by Kirk de Micco and Chris Sanders (“How to Train Your Dragon.”), plays a bit like “Ice age,” where impending doom from shifting tectonic movement and volcanic activity causes the protagonists to leave their initial home and travel through a prehistoric landscape filled with dangerous animals.
The Croods start as uncivilized Neanderthals who throw rocks and shout at animals to scare them off. When Guy enters the plot, his intuitive use of traps and wearing pants and shoes introduce a new dynamic that starts to change this family. The dynamic is used for comedy when the Croods scarf down a huge cooked animal, meanwhile Guy is eating with utensils off of a leaf with a look of shock on his face.
Toward the climax, it becomes a conflict between the brute force mentality of Grug, and the intuitive quick-thinking mentality of Guy. Eventually, even Grug uses ingenuity to solve the movies final problems.
Overall, this movie is going to be great for kids, and average for parents. Besides some light character development and a few jokes, The Croods doesn’t offer much to adult audiences. If you’re a parent with young kids, it is definitely a great option.