The Croods: A New Age; Grade: C
The Croods: A New Age continues our beloved caveman family The Croods and the addition to the family Guy (Ryan Reynolds). As Guy searches for the promised land known as “The Tomorrow”, he envisions a home and life with his significant other Eep (Emma Stone). Eep’s father Grug (Nicolas Cage) fears of losing his daughter to Guy, as he doesn’t want to see his little girl go, as Grug will make a valid attempt to stop these love birds continuing a life together. The following morning Grug finds a new world, catered by mythical creatures and all the food you can eat. As the Croods enjoy their discovery, they will eventually meet The Bettermans, whom used to be friends with Guy’s parents. The Croods will not only get acquainted with The Bettermans, but also be introduced to advanced technology for the future and encounter problems with The Bettermans and this world.
The Animation t’was lovely, very colorful this time around especially the new world that is discovered by the Croods. It really all pops out at you, as the imagery is quite bright filled with many colors. Interesting character designs especially the creature designs, whether it be the land sharks, sea-chickens, and most certainly the monkeys. The Score was fine, surprised they didn’t cater to today’s pop trend, they played some classical songs and had a nice elegant composed tune. The characters this time around... I feel basically the same as last time, only I think I liked the characters from the first film better than this time around. I think it’s because of the themes we’re dealing with, as it feels too reminiscent to other films of last year like Toy Story 4 and How to Train Your Dragon Hidden World, so it doesn’t feel as refreshing or original in any sense.
Still the entire Croods family led by Grug and Eep still remain fairly enjoyable, all contributing to a moral purpose whether it be emotional value or comedic value. Grug, Eep, and Guy were all the best characters in this story, as they had an arc and most certainly actually had character development. What’s unfortunate is there is barely much character development being involved, with our new characters Hope Betterman (Leslie Mann) and Phil Betterman (Peter Dinklage). Sure they change their ways at the end of the film, however it’s not really much justified at all as they change just because... I wish more could’ve been done.
I recently watched The Croods around this time of year last year, as I started watching it on my break then finished when I got home. T’was a solid animated film as I was most certainly looking forward to the sequel. It’s been awhile since a big studio release film has been released in theaters, last being of course Tenet so I was pretty stoked to see this in theaters. The Croods: A New Age is kind of what I expected from a sequel to The Croods... Not better than the original, however not a waste or time and most certainly not pointless.
I feel the story does have some value to it, as it tries to display some meaningful messages regarding letting go of a child to a significant other creating a life for themselves, and also learning to get along with those that are falling behind to today’s times. As far as comedic value... There are some jokes that land here, as I had some genuine laughs. I think the main issue I have with The Croods: A New Age is most certainly the third act... I feel it’s doing way too much, as the storyline suddenly becomes utterly ridiculous. Before why The Betterman’s don’t want Grug and The Croods to eat the bananas, for the most part how the story is being told felt contained, settle, calm, and offering some fun sequences. When it’s revealed why they shouldn’t eat the bananas... Suddenly this film becomes extremely wild, to the point where it’s hard to comprehend what exactly is going on, as it’s really in your face. I think for me it looses the entire focus on what kind of messages this film is trying to address, as I felt distracted by the utter ridiculousness of this films entire tone, as the third act is more aimed for mindless little children. I’m not sure why the sudden switch, maybe they felt the tone before hand was getting a bit boring for the audience as it has to be centered for kids, as they thought they should amped it up with this monkey side plot that feels reminiscent to King Kong in a way.
Overall, The Croods: A New Age was just ok. I’d wait for this film for a reasonably priced rental, certainly not worth $20 or a visit to the theater. -Mitch Smietana