Croods 2 is solid family entertainment
FILM REVIEW: THE CROODS 2: A NEW AGE (U)
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VOICE CAST: NICOLAS CAGE, EMMA STONE, RYAN REYNOLDS, CATHERINE KEENER, KELLY MARIE TRAN, PETER DINKLAGE, LESLIE MANN, CLARK DUKE, KAILEY CRAWFORD & CLORIS LEACHMAN
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 35 MINS DIRECTOR: JOEL CRAWFORD
This sequel to 2013’s generally well-received animation carves out a competent new age for the prehistoric family – mainly due to the talented cast at hand.
When you’ve got Nicolas Cage – basking in the joy of a career resurgence – alongside his fellow Oscar winner Emma Stone and Ryan ‘Deadpool’ Reynolds on voice acting duties, it would take a completely primitive script to mess this up.
And while it probably comes in a ‘touch’ below the original pound-for-pound, the colourful – if safely familiar – plotline ticks all the right boxes for family entertainment.
Even if you can quite easily see what’s coming well before the end credits roll.
After the cataclysmic events of the first film, Cage’s overprotective patriarch of the Croods cavemen clan – including wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), eldest daughter Eep (Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke), youngest daughter Sandy, Gran (Cloris Leachman), two pets and adopted family member Guy (Reynolds) – is still searching for a safe place to settle across the dangerous landscapes as they head out into the unknown.
And to throw a spanner in the works, Grug is struggling to come to terms with Eep and Guy’s budding romance as he overhears their aspirations to set up home as a couple, to get their own space away from the family sanctuary – and their antiquated ‘sleep pile’ routine.
But when Grug stumbles across a luscious beautiful ‘Eden’ that has plentiful supplies of food, water and all other necessities, they soon realise this utopia has been the brainchild of a more evolved family in the Bettermans – Dad Phil (Game of Thrones’s Peter Dinklage), Mum Hope (Knocked Up’s Leslie Mann) and daughter Dawn (The Last Jedi’s Kelly Marie Tran).
To make matters awkward for Eep, the family knew Guy’s now-deceased parents, and secretly would like him to partner their daughter – which inadvertently gives Grug the opening he needs to keep his family together.
But as a new menace (linked to the abundance of bananas in the paradise – don’t ask) threatens the future of both clans – who are slowly antagonising each other with every passing day – they will soon have to put aside their differences and come together for the greater good.
And while that sounds all predictably ‘heard it all before’ – which it most definitely is – it’s done in a colourfully vibrant, satisfactorily humorous and heartwarmingly agreeable fashion, that it gets a solid pass.
These Croods may be primeval in animation terms compared to some of the Disney/Pixar big-hitters – but they’re definitely a likeable bunch.
By Gavin Miller
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