Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Croods: A New Age – A Hilarious Sequel Movie Review

There was “The Croods,” in the beginning, a fun cartoon about an overprotective early man named Grug (Nicolas Cage.) Who was so worried about the perils of the outside world that he kept his clan confined to a cave. Then his adventurous teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone) met an outsider, Guy (Ryan Reynolds.)

Sometimes it works when there is a sequel to a successful movie. (This has stretched the “Shrek” and “Madagascar” franchises far enough.) That’s how we got “The Croods: A New Age.”

Grug discovers that his daughter is considering leaving the pack to start her own life with Guy. The Croods stumble upon a fenced-in commune run by the Bettermans—Hope (Leslie Mann), Phil (a great Peter Dinklage), and their daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran). Grug stumbles across the Bettermans, a significantly more evolved family with a teenage daughter of their own. They’ve invented agriculture, personal hygiene and indoor plumbing. Plus, they have a much better tree!

They compost their garbage instead of just leaving it in the wild; they wear sandals and necklaces and man-buns; Phil even has a literal man cave to retreat to when life gets too hard! All of the civilization is shocking to the Croods, including its bananas and mirrors. Watching Guy learn how to use a toilet, or hearing Cloris Leachman (as Gran) interrupt every so often with a crack about how things were back in her time. All these are interesting to watch.

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Guy has an important history with the Bettermans, which leads to a sort of pack love triangle—will Guy return to the more civilized and predictable world of Dawn Betterman or roam the dangerous plains with Eep Crood?

Whereas the Croods lived in a desolate land of rocks and dirt and dangerous beasts. The Bettermans have cultivated a stunning DayGlo garden. Their new hosts are friendly at first. But it becomes evident that they secretly want to lure Guy away to marry their daughter, Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran.) The end goal is to cast the Croods out of the garden. Phil (Peter Dinklage), has a weird rule about not touching the bananas. We late discover that Instead of a massive gorilla, the banana eater is a cute little punch monkey … Who belongs to a swarm of the critters … Who make sacrifices to a massive gorilla after all.

It doesn’t help that “The Croods: A New Age” is content to tell pretty much the same story only louder. Once again, it’s a story of fathers learning that they can’t be too protective of their daughters. Phil goes through a similar arc with Dawn as Grug did with Eep in the first movie. Its an encouragement for families to stick together no matter what happens.

Every time that “The Croods: A New Age” feels like more than a generic retread, it returns to something safe and familiar. The irony is that these stories are about breaking out of a bubble. Overprotective fathers realize that the danger of the world is an essential part of growing up.

“The Croods: A New Age” doesn’t really do much, giving the movie over to physical comedy and loud action sequences. Overall the movie is fun to watch! Watch the trailer below

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