The Croods: A New Age, which is now available on Hulu, was released in late 2020 to reassure us that The Croods from 2013 still exists. That’s my idea, at least, because I remember seeing the first animation eight years ago and all I remember is Nicolas Cage as a caveman.
A new Age? Not quite, but this sequel feels like a step up from 2013’s The Croods. It’s more of the same Flintstones-meets-Ice Age family animation, with just as much comedy. What it has over the original is the addition of Peter Dinklage and Leslie Mann to the voice cast, who portray husband and wife cave-couple Phil and Hope Betterman (as in “better man”), a pompous and condescending pair of prehistoric west coast hippies who toss in a few extra humor for adults.
Perhaps that’s a terrible sign for the remainder of the review, and this is where I implore you to continue reading?
Croods: A New Age Plot Synopsis
Guy (Reynolds) was a character in the first Croods film, and we see him as a youngster in the current film. His parents died in a tar pit, which must have been a painful death. Many moons passed, and he wound up with the Crood family when he was a teenager, which was an odd fit because they’re Neanderthals, and he’s a different type of hominid, with a more straight spine and light forehead.
Papa Grug (Cage), mama Ugga (Keener), teen daughter Eep (Stone), grandma Gran (Leachman), kid Thunk (Clark Duke), and baby Sandy are the members of the Croods (Kailey Crawford). Even with their huge green cat friend, they sleep in a giant stinky pile, and Guy and his cutie sloth buddy are squashed right in there with them. The Croods were terrified of the outside world in the first film, so Guy persuaded them to become nomads in pursuit of a legendary land he called Tomorrow, and that’s where we find them today.
It’s difficult to make a living on the road. They’re frequently assaulted by flying baboon koalas and garbage, and they’re forced to eat sticks at times. This doesn’t disturb Eep and Guy, who are all kissyface with each other, causing Grug to be concerned that they’ll quit the pack and establish their own. One day, the party comes upon a beautiful patch of forest filled with a stunning rainbow cacophony of exotic fruits and clear lakes.
They feed like dumb wild hogs, only more revolting. They’re actually on the property of the Bettermans, Phil and Hope, and their daughter Dawn, who are old friends of Guy’s family. They’re slender and elegant, manbunned and clean, and they live in a big tree with mirrors and wicker-basket walls, as well as individual chambers for each of them. They perform the deed in bathrooms while wearing flip-flops and drinking “bitter bean juice” in the morning. TOILETS. To be sure, they don’t sleep in a huge, stinky heap since that would look horrible on Instagram.
Phil and Hope are also snobby better than yours who want to link Guy with Dawn instead of Guy and Eep, so do I believe they’re racist? Guy has a manbun before you know it, and Phil is manipulating Grug because he knows Grug won’t give his daughter’s hand to Guy. The following are the episodes’ antics: Eep and Dawn are friends, and there’s a big fuss about bananas and some blue-and-pink monkeys who communicate by punching each other. It all comes to a violent conclusion after about 2,000 gags.
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Croods: a New Age Has Complicated Parenting Issue
The Croods: A New Age is about the Croods’ endeavor to accept a newer, easier, and maybe more civilized way of life, despite their worries about how all the new technology — and Hope and Phil Betterman’s arrogant attitude toward it — would create distance between them. Many adult viewers of The Croods: A New Age may be familiar with this topic in their daily lives as they parent in the Information Age, discussing how to best control their children’s screen time or whether or not to allow them to have cellphones or social media accounts.
As an example, with differing technologies, Grug and Ugga must decide whether to be prehistoric helicopter parents or proto-free range parents.
The Croods: A New Age also goes into another complicated emotional issue that only people who have left home or have previously raised children may understand. Grug has a tight relationship with his adolescent daughter, Eep, and he feels a lot of worry as she transitions from childhood — when he was the only male role in her life — to maturity, when she falls in love with Guy. When he considers the inevitability of Eep and Guy leaving their group to form their own pack, he becomes even more concerned. Although the credits roll before viewers get a chance to see Grug acquire “Empty Nest Syndrome,” this does happen towards the end of the film.
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Croods: A New Age Review
The basic narrative of the film is a straightforward “clashing in-law” comedy that follows all of the expected paths. It’s a shame that it overshadows some of the more intriguing subplots. The two ‘rivals’ for Guy’s affection refuse to be forced into being adversaries without choice, opting instead to get to know each other as more than simply potential girlfriends. Regrettably, all of that promise is essentially limited to a single sequence. However, most of the enjoyment in this film is found outside of the storyline.
There are a lot of strange flourishes all around that so-so plot that make this film incredibly unusual and quite enjoyable. The country is populated by incomprehensible mash-up animals, such as spider-wolves, quadrupedal sharks, and chicken-seals, like in the original. The sequel expands on the nuttiness of the first film. Punching is used as a form of communication by certain monkeys. Guy’s best friend is a sloth that he wears around his waist like a belt. A sentient wig exists.
Joel Crawford, a first-time filmmaker, has a really stupid instinct, which is a praise. The storyline isn’t very ambitious, but there’s a consistent dedication to making the audience laugh, even if the gags don’t always make sense. There’s a lot to be said about keeping things simple, as the movie’s message goes.
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