The Croods, to me at least, was a subversively beautiful movie about moving on and letting go of the past. It had great characters, it was funny, and it was touching. I honestly believe that it was one character death away from being a classic and I will go to my grave insisting that Grug should have died saving his family at the end, keeping up with the theme of moving towards the future.
The Croods: A New Age, the long-awaited sequel, is decidedly less ambitious. There is a theme about how being more civilized doesn’t make you a more advanced human, but to be honest, it’s not a theme they do a whole lot with.
No, The Croods: A New Age isn’t here to say anything meaningful or be anything more than what it wants to be and, what it wants to be is a wildly irreverent comedy set in a prehistoric fantasy that gets weirder and weirder every passing minute. Given my love for the original movie, you would think that I would hate this, but I don’t. In fact, I actually respect this movie’s inability to give a single solitary damn about anything except having fun.
In The Croods: A New Age, we catch back up with the second most popular modern stone age family as they journey across the vast and unforgiving fantasy prehistoric Earth populated with creatures you won’t find in any reputable natural history museum. Eep and Guy are growing closer and Grug fears that his daughter is about to leave his pack forever with her new Beau. However, when the family comes across a veritable paradise created by another family named The Bettermans who are more sophisticated than the Croods could ever be, Guy is suddenly reunited with people from his past who seek to tear him and Eep apart.
Oh, and there’s also some strange monster outside the walls.
While I did love this movie, I will admit that it is a much more hollow experience than the original. It’s also a lot less original… which is to be expected since it’s a sequel, but it also seems to do less with the style of the original. I remember the marching band theme, the high speed and energetic action sequences… most of that is muted here or all together missing.
What it does lack in that original spirit, however, it more than makes up for with a new, wacky kind of energy that amps up the wit and comedy. There are several laugh out loud moments, the performers are obviously having a great time doing what they’re doing, and, as I have said before… this movie simply doesn’t care. Normally, you would think that would be a big minus, but incredibly, it adds this irreverent unpredictability to the story that always keeps you guessing what the heck it’s going to do next and I loved it. Absolutely loved it.
The Croods: A New Age is not going to tug on your heartstrings and will not leave much of a lasting impression, but the experience is a joy nonetheless. While I would have, admittedly, liked to have seen a more meaningful and deeper story, the refreshing lack of pretense in just having a blast was a refreshing change of pace even if the attempts at more emotional storytelling fall flat.
Nope, I don’t regret renting this thing for twenty bucks. Heck, it would have twice as much to take my kids to the theater.