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The Croods

The Croods

What She said:

She

In most ways, The Croods is just another family-friends CGI cartoon film.  It’s clearly been designed for the 3D loving audience, and tries to capitalize on children’s natural tendency to not be able to sit through anything that isn’t pounding with action.  And so we have a film about a family of cavemen who are forced to go on a trek to who knows where for the sake of their lives.  Literally, the world around them is crumbling, and everything in this prehistoric world seems to be out to get them.

This equates to a movie with a lot of running around and fast action sequences.  Things are also very colorful.  I’m talking animals and birds with fluorescent fur and feathers.  However unlikely, your kids will probably soak it all in.  For parents, The Croods offers some decent laughs and recognizable voices.  It’s harmless, funny, and has a female heroine, which is always nice.  I try not to compare movies like this one to the classic mega-hit Disney movies of my young because, let’s face it, today’s faire just does not receive that level of attention, particularly to plot depth and character development.  

The Croods

The Croods brings together the voice talents of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman.  Eep, voiced by Stone, seems a little bit more evolved from her brethren, and yearns for excitement and bigger and better things than the standard cave.  By happenstance she meets Guy (Reynolds), who is, a guy—I mean a modern man kind of guy.  He comes complete with a leaner physique and a bigger brain filled with grand ideas, like fire.  Guy, who appears to be a wanderer, helps the Croods to survive an unexplained end-of-times type scenario.  Of course, he butts heads with Grug (Cage), the patriarch of the family, who is all too conservative and traditional.

The story here is relatable to lots of preteens, and so it should resonate well.  Of course, there’s a little romance going on between Eep and Guy.  No shocker there.  The Croods will take you on a non-ffensive adventure fueled by family in-fighting, which puts everyone in some pretty funny situations.  There is a heart to the movie; although, I’d say that’s the weakest aspect of the film.  

Overall, I like The Croods.  It was not terribly complex, but it did the job and left a pretty pleasant taste in my mouth.
Diagnosis: Thumbs up.

The Croods

 

What He said:

He

Eep is just like everyone else in her family. Wait, that’s not true at all. She craves adventure, is curious, and is sick of hiding. You see, Eep’s father Grug (Nicolas Cage) believes the key to the family’s survival is to hide. The live in a cave and the only time they leave is the few minutes every day or so they leave to gather food. This is a point of contention between Eep (Emma Stone) and her father. Eep is a teenager, so naturally there’s some tension between them, but there’s the whole fact that he keeps them holed up in a cave most of the day that adds to it.

The Croods

Despite butting heads with her father, Eep listens to him. That is until one night something grabs her attention and she sneaks out of the cave to investigate. While out investigating this mysterious entity, Eep meets a young man named Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy is different from Eep and the rest of her family. He’s skinnier, not as fast or strong, and has these things called ideas. Eep thinks he is strange, but eventually warms up to him. She actually develops a major crush on him.

He isn’t the only one. Once the rest of the family meets they think he’s pretty neat too. Grug’s wife Ugga (Catherine Keener) can relate to how it feels to be young and meet someone you like. She likes seeing her daughter happy too. Plus, Guy really is smarter than the rest of them, and his intelligence impresses just about all of them. Her mother Gran likes anyone or anything that Grug doesn’t. Her relationship with her son-in-law is most amusing.

I remember seeing some marketing for this movie, but I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. I’m not saying I think the movie looked bad, I’m saying I literally did not give the movie much though. I saw some pictures and didn’t think twice about the movie. I think I saw the trailer, but always in the background. When the She suggested we rented it, I really didn’t know what to expect.

The Croods

What I found was that I was very pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Nicolas Cage makes a ton of bad movies, so it’s easy to kind of just laugh at him, but this was one of his better recent movies. He was perfect as the well-meaning, strong, brutish, and stubborn patriarch. His chemistry with his on-screen daughter Emma Stone was fantastic. I believed I was watching a real father and daughter bicker. Same goes for him with his daughter’s love interest Guy and his mother-in-law Gran (Cloris Leechman). The whole son-in-law and mother-in-law thing not getting along is nothing new, but it worked well. His rivalry with Reynolds’ character worked well too. The same can be said for the relationship between Guy and Eep. Reynolds delivered his trademark snark and wit. Stone was a great female lead to. She was funny, sassy, and kind of a bad-ass.

Speaking of bad-ass, the movie works as a pretty good action/adventure movie too. The Croods are cavemen and thus much faster, stronger, and more durable than guy. Despite Grug’s preference to hide, they are actually an impressive bunch. Guy has the brains, but they are physical specimens and put him to shame in that department. Together, they make a good unit.
Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on October 13, 2013.

 

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