The family may be "crude," but the film definitely isn't. Dreamworks latest animated offering "The Croods" is an original charmer about a prehistoric family trying to survive the trials and tribulations of early caveman living. The story is told through the eyes of older daughter Eep (Emma Stone) who longs to explore and take risks while dad Grug (the hilariously perfect Nicholas Cage) wants to keep everyone in his own protective nest. When a newcomer named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) arrives, not only does Eep get her first crush, but he also challenges the family into finding new ways to see the world.
While it's not really gut-bustingly funny, it's consistently entertaining, and inventive. The crazy beasts the family must contend with are all hybrids like the Crocopup or the Macawnivore and are fun to get to know. The rest of this close-knit family is mom Ugga (Catherine Keener), younger brother Thunk (Clark Duke), toddler Sandy (Randy Thorn) and Gran (Cloris Leachman) who Grug is always hoping is on her last legs. There's also Guy's trusty side-kick Belt whom he frequently wears around his waist to help keep his pants up.
If I had one complaint it's the constant reliance on violence for laughs. People are always getting punched, crunched, knocked around, and flattened. No one gets seriously hurt, but after a while you wonder if the filmmakers can come up with a more clever way to get the audience to laugh rather than painful humor. Despite that, it's original enough that adults and kids will be fully entertained.
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