The Croods: A New Age

When I went to see the original The Croods animated movie a few years ago, I hated the experience. I have always wondered if I hated the movie as much as I hated the experience.

You see, the theater I saw The Croods in was cramped, filled with screaming children, and there was a child throwing up a few rows behind me. I was stuck in the furthest seat over and was hating the entire environment. There is no doubt that the movie viewing experience can affect the way you perceive the movie so I did not enjoy the first Croods movie.

Now, the public at large did not seem to love the film either and I am not sure who was exactly clamoring for a sequel seven years after. I avoided the film. There was no pull for me to head out to the theater and potentially expose myself to the Covid-19 virus to see the sequel to the Croods.

Heck, it came out on streaming and I still was not anxious to see it. Finally, I decided that I should watch it.

The first thing that I realized was that Ryan Reynolds voiced the character Guy, something I did not remember from the first one. I remembered Nicolas Cage doing the voice of Grug, the father, but Reynolds was a surprise.

Then, the first half of the movie was about what I expected. Harmless. Unremarkable. Predictable. In fact, it felt like I was watching a Bizarro version of Aladdin with Guy as Prince Ali and Dawn Betterman (Kelly Marie Tran) as Jasmine. Perhaps that made Eep (Emma Stone) Abu. Although later on I thought maybe Eep was Aladdin instead.

I guess I should give a plot synapsis. The Croods found “Tomorrow”, the land Guy was searching for and met up with Guy’s parents’ old friends, the Bettermans, Phil (Peter Dinklage) and Hope (Leslie Mann). The Bettermans wanted Guy to come back and hook up with their daughter Dawn, and they tried to manipulate Grug to give Guy back.

Grug was feeling scared about Eep leaving the tribe so he was easily manipulated by Phil.

This was about the first 45 minutes of the movie and it was fine. Nothing major. There were a few funny bits, but nothing that I cared about, as you could tell from the weird Aladdin analogy I was mentally working on.

Then….

The movie went completely bat shit crazy.

I mean… totally bat shit crazy. I have to say, I liked it. It was bizarre, wild, flipping insane.

You have to respect a movie that is willing to let itself go this bat shit crazy. I’m not even sure how to describe it. King Kong on acid? Land of the Lost meets Willy Wonka? The Partridge Family and the Flintstones have a baby? There was even a series of Jack Black songs from out of nowhere.

Thunder Sisters? Punch monkeys language lessons. Wolf Spiders. Flying hair named Wigasus.

All of this feels as if they needed to cram everything possible into the third act because they knew the remainder of the movie was average at best. And yet, that third act was so nuts that it might have won me over. I don’t think I need to see the original again and I don’t think another sequel is needed, but this can only be experienced.

3 stars

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