2013 Movie Reviews: The Croods

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What do you get when you take Kirk De Micco (director of Space Chimps which I can gladly say I never saw.) and Chris Sanders (co director of How To Train Your Dragon aka my favorite movie of all time.) and get them to make a movie together? I was having extreme mixed feelings on this film when I checked this out of the library. I kind of had a feeling that the film wasn’t gonna be anything too special about the film, but I was curious. Luckily, as the film teaches us, curiosity isn’t always a bad thing.

In an age before the Flintstones, cavemen actually lived in caves and had to fight off very weird looking animals on a day to day basis. One family, the Croods, managed to survive when others have died because they have always followed strict rules from the head of the family, Grug. (Nicholas Cage) But one day, teenage rebel Eep (Emma Stone) ventures out on her own and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who tells the family that the world is ending (Really just continents splitting.) and that they need to follow him if they want to survive.

I’ll admit, when the movie started, I was fully prepared to hate it. And when the movie started, I was like, “Yeah, the joke is that they’re cavemen and they don’t understand anything.” But when I thought about it, I realized that it’s not like real cavemen would be much smarter. I’m actually kind of impressed with the way the movie makes the humor not sound like there’s too much pop culture. The humor is actually very funny, (“What’s a pet?” “It’s an animal you don’t eat.” “We call those children.”) and I had a smile on my face for a majority of the film’s running time.

But it’s when the drama comes in that The Croods truly shines. It’s kind of like an animated “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” in that it’s all about the generational gap between parents and their children. Grug is like Stoick from How To Train Your Dragon, except that Grug’s given a lot more screen time. And even though Cage’s voice work isn’t the greatest, it’s fascinating to see a man who’s just trying to do what’s right, but also seeing his position in his family (and the world) diminishing. By the third act, I was shocked at some of the directions the movie chose to go in. It’s hits the dramatic beats, but it never goes too far. And neither does the comedy. The dramatic and comedic elements blend together perfectly, so it never feels forced. Frozen could take a few notes from this. 

How To Train Your Dragon was the movie that changed my opinion on Dreamworks Animation. Megamind made me an official fan of the company. Rise Of The Guardians made me start to think that Dreamworks might actually be a better company than Pixar. The Croods made me decide that I want to get a job working for Dreamworks when I get older. At this rate, I might actually check out Turbo, because Dreamworks has won me over. I feel really bad that I missed this earlier in the year. (This must have looked AMAZING in 3D.) but if you missed it on the big screen, try and see if you can catch it on the small one.

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY GOOD MOVIES THIS YEAR! SERIOUSLY, IT’S LIKE 1939!

****1/2

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