- Hamish Hart
The Croods: A New Age (2020) Review
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
AFTER nearly five years of production delays, The Croods return to the big screen in an endearing look into the literal evolution of the beloved DreamWorks family.
As the prehistoric family continue their travels, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his girlfriend Eep (Emma Stone) long for a journey by themselves - much to the dismay of Eep's father, Grug (Nicholas Cage).
This argument is soon put to the side as another wrench is thrown into the mix upon meeting the Betterman's, who claim to be more evolved than the cave-dwelling Croods, who must now decide what is most important - loyalty or charity.
Following the success of the 2013 flick, The Croods 2 was set to release in 2017, but was cancelled in 2016 due to financial worries, before being renewed by Universal later that year and slated for a 2020 release.
While it was welcome to see the family return, A New Age felt long overdue and - ultimately - unnecessary. But despite being six years too late, the film offered plenty of explosive laughs and landscapes.
Director Joel Crawford, known for his alluring artistic work on DreamWorks movies such as Rise of the Guardians and the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, keeps the high-octane energy of The Croods going by incorporating its stunningly-beautiful landscapes into action and comedic sequences.
Relationships and conflicts are also established within the colourful scenery, all of which are between select members of the Croods and the newly-introduced Betterman family - Phil (Peter Dinklage), Hope (Leslie Mann) and Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran).
The Bettermans blatantly existed to be a foil to the Croods, in particular Grug, but their hasty introduction gradually paid off courtesy of the energetic performances given by Dinklage, Mann and Tran, who all outshine the passable voice work by returning actors Cage, Stone and Reynolds.
The sprightly pace of the film lends itself to many positives, but just as many negatives as genuinely funny jokes don't get a chance to breathe, resulting in A-grade humour constantly being overshadowed by lesser antics.
While this family affair may be six years too late, The Croods 2 still managed to hold together through beautiful sceneries and colourful characters.
Animated features released this year such as Soul and Onward tackle genuine emotion - and even humour - better, but The Croods: A New Age was a surprising hit that stood out among the overwhelming amount of recent Disney successes.