Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage) is a Neanderthal caveman who lives by a simple rule: Never not be afraid.
The world outside is dangerous and aside from hunting or gathering, they remain in the safety of their cave. However, a boring life staring at four stone walls is starting to seem pointless and for a teenage girl, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), the temptation to leave is becoming more than she can handle.
When an unusual looking stranger arrives warning of the end of time, the Croods must make the effort to venture out into a new and changing world or perish in the attempt.
We say, “It succeeds on all fronts.”
HOWE: As I was sitting there watching the opening 15 minutes or so, I was thinking to myself, “Oh no, this is going to be a little slow for the younger viewers.” Enter Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) and the jokes started to fly. Yeah, I rhyme now.
TAYLOR: I think the opening was meant to establish the boredom of being locked up in a cave for your whole life, so that when the family leaves the cave, it’s all the more colourful and exciting. There were quite a few people in the theatre, which was nice to see — movies need audiences — but I didn’t notice any fidgeting at all, just excitement and laughter. I was surprised at how well this film succeeded at entertaining the kids, the adults and myself. My wife attended the film too, she said The Croods was amusing and fantastical.
HOWE: The Croods is a beautiful animated movie to watch: colourful, exotic looking creatures, some funny moments and the 3D is pretty good. For me the real stars of the show had to be the little monkey thing called Belt and Thunk’s pet dog. (It’s not really a dog, all the animals in this prehistoric world are weird.) There’s a scene with that dog, or whatever it is, that is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.
TAYLOR: I enjoyed the visual aspects of the film. Some of the background art was amazing. However, the story was also interesting. The Croods is basically about accepting change and living well in a dynamic world. Perhaps this is why the Neanderthals became nothing more than genetic remnant floating around inside some modern humans.
HOWE: With the price of admission just a little shy of $13 for a child, is The Croods worth going to see? I think very much so. It’s entertaining and really should be seen on the big screen with the 3D to get the full effect. And just to top it all off, this is Nic Cage’s finest acting role, EVER.
TAYLOR: It was fitting that the animators made Grug look a little bit crazy.
— Howe gives The Croods 3.5 piranha birds out of 5.
— Taylor gives it 4 boulder tools out of 5.
— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.