By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Available on VOD
For outlets, please visit www.watchcroods.com
A DNA sequence must be missing to make The Croods sequel, New Age stand out. One problem is the time it took to make this animated film. Seven years, not including the Netflix prequel, is quite the long time. One issue is because of Universal Pictures’ acquiring the DreamWorks Animation and the uncertainty which resulted. The other is handing over the directorial reigns to story artist, Joel Crawford.
This franchise created by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco is good. Who doesn’t love a Flintstones like family trying to make sense of a changing world? The duo had ideas. Whoever said their story required the help of The Hageman Brothers, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan to fine tune needs a rock tossed at him.
Sanders and DeMicco’s direction made the first film enjoyable, goofy and fun. Although they crammed in a lot of flashy material, especially in the visual front, I wanted to know more and followed the animated Netflix series, Dawn of the Croods. All DreamWorks properties are slated to become a series at some point, and this series is no different. To see how the Croods survived with fellow neanderthals before a huge cataclysm forced them to flee was a primer for this cinematic sequel.
After the movie, Ryan Reynolds will always be that Guy to keep Grug (Nick Cage) on his toes. Even in this film, this patriarch is afraid of losing his daughter to this miscreant. They’re obviously in love. The mix between further developing Eep (Emma Stone) and Guy’s relationship, and The Croods meeting the Bettermans (only to feud) makes for an uneven film, puns notwithstanding.
Similar to the first movie, the only thing stopping them from getting ahead in life is mostly in accepting change. One of them is in how Guy, Dawn Betterman (Kelly Marie Tran), and Eep relate to one another. Is it romance, being platonic or something else? The humour is very traditional sit-com style, and easy to roll with.
Add in how one hominid family differs from another, and if the advances in technology (ala Gilligan’s Island) are good, I would say making a new Netflix series should have been considered instead. If Croods: A New Generation happens, the chances of it being made isn’t anytime soon.
Sanders is going to be involved in some capacity with the live action Lilo & Stitch movie. While I’m glad his name is mentioned about this project, I’m sad Disney executives are insisting on turning their best animated films into reality.
3 Stars out of 5