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Saturday, June 12, 2021

    ‘The Croods: A New Age’ – The Funtastic Era

    Ben Nietzel
    Ben Nietzel works as the principal of Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School. He also enjoys coaching Muskie football and reviewing movies.

    Muscatine Living

    “The Croods: A New Age” is a follow-up to 2013’s “The Croods.” In the sequel, the newest modern stone-age family finds itself on the move looking for the illusive Tomorrow Land. They find this paradise, but it comes stocked not just with safety and great food, but hoity-toity neighbors named the Bettermans. Amidst this clash of cultures, hilarity ensues.

    Pro – Family Fun

    “The Croods: A New Age” is a surprisingly good movie for all ages. There’s certainly not a lot new here, but the classic tale of two different worlds intersecting serves its purpose. Early in the film, the Croods, a family of rough and tough Neanderthals, come across a garden paradise built and occupied by a human family called the Bettermans. Of course, both families quickly resent the disruption to their way of life but ultimately learn important lessons from each other. It’s all very by-the-book, but that formulaic story is a good vehicle for the comedy, action, and wonder of the film. “Croods” is laugh-out-loud funny at times for kids and adults, though those might not always be the same times. It also has plenty of fun action to keep kids entertained.

    Pro – The Look

    Having not seen the first “Croods” film, it was shocking how lovely this movie was to see on the big screen. It’s truly remarkable what animated films can do with color these days, and “The Croods: A New Age” is cut from the same cloth as “Coco” and the “How to Train Your Dragon” series. The colors are simply stunning. The prehistoric world is brought to unique life in these films through a color palate that is completely unrealistic in nature, yet gorgeous. The family’s giant saber-tooth cat, which doubles as the family automobile, looks like Jackson Pollock painted it using an Easter paint set.

    Pro – Cast

    The cast of “The Croods: A New Age” is shockingly deep. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise will literally spend the first half hour of the film stunned as they realize all the big names that are on offer as voices in this film. Nic Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds all star as Crood family members. Cage plays the dad, Crug, and it’s his most enjoyable performance since “Con Air.” Emma Stone voices Eep, Grug’s oldest daughter and the main character of the franchise. All the enjoyable qualities that get associated with Stone are on display here. Reynolds has a more subdued roll than in his last few films, but is still incredibly enjoyable. That’s just the tip of the star iceberg in the film, and it’s fun to try to place voices as the film progresses. One final special mention has to go to Leslie Mann who channels every character she’s every played in Judd Apatow films into her role as Hope Betterman, matriarch of the human family.

    “The Croods: A New Age” is so much more entertaining and delightful than could have been expected. It’s not an amazing film, but it’s a great family fun that should delight viewers young and old. It is well worth seeing it on the big screen. Jump on the family beast and race over to the Fridley Palms Theatre to catch this one before it goes the way of the Neanderthal.

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