Movie Review – The Croods (2013)

Directors: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke

The Croods focuses on a family of cavemen, and women…cavepeople? Their cave is destroyed and they have to journey through an unfamiliar world with the help of a young boy, Guy (Reynolds) as the rest of the world collapses around them.

This film is so good! It begins with a hectic and amusing chase and we’re introduced to the various characters’ quirks. Grug (Cage) and Eep (Stone) get the most focus and it’s their relationship as father and daughter that drives the movie. Grug has managed to keep his family safe by following a simple rule that basically everything is bad. Eep is tired of living in fear and wants to explore, which is when she meets Guy. I thought the romance between them was well played and a lot of humour was generated from the fact that he was slightly more evolved than the Croods.

Soon enough the world starts collapsing and they have to venture out into the unknown. I loved the creature designs for this lost world, it felt alien and familiar all at once. The colors were lavish and bright and the whole environment was just gorgeous. Accompanying this were strong characters with defined traits and they all played off each other well. I got a big Looney Tunes vibe from some of the jokes, which I loved, but the broad slapstick humour was complemented by a lot of good character interplay too.

Towards the end there was genuine tension and peril. I have to admit that I was completely caught up in the movie. But the main thing that I love is that it strikes me as a valentine to humanity. It shows how we’ve adapted and managed to survive despite all that nature has thrown at us, and that we can come together and use our ingenuity when we need it, and our strength when we need it, above all else we can work together and prosper. It distills the essence of human nature in this one quest and it’s simply wonderful.

I’m really impressed by The Croods. I loved the humour, especially the last snapshot, loved the characterization, everything was top notch. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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