Rugger Review: The Croods
Summary: When a prehistoric family who spend most of their time in a cave are forced to locate a new home, they find themselves on a journey of self-discovery in an uncharted world.
The Croods is the type of film you would expect from a company struggling to catch up with runaway animation experts Pixar.
Despite previous hits with Shrek and How to Train a Dragon, Dreamworks has always struggled in the shadow of those who gave us Toy Story, Up, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo.
Where Pixar excels is in touching stories with plenty of heart that resonates with both adults and children alike, something generally lacking at Dreamworks.
The same can be said about The Croods. The story is as basic as it gets and the characters fail to draw you in like Woody and Nemo do.
A family of Neanderthals find themselves requiring a new home after their cave is destroyed while the young, adventurous daughter (Emma Stone) clashes with the overbearing, overprotective father (Nicolas Cage).
That’s all the storyline that kids need but there is little for the adults – there’s not an in-joke or innuendo in sight.
But the target audience will no doubt love it. After the first 15 minutes of seeing nothing but rocks, the film enters a world of colour that is eye-popping in 3D and will no doubt have children in awe.
But there is definitely a spark missing somewhere, something that the extremely talented voice cast (Ryan Reynolds, Clark Duke, Catherine Keever) can’t seem to muster. Back to the drawing board.
Final Verdict: With Pixar churning out a sequel to Monsters Inc. later this year, its title as the top animation studio is, based on this evidence, not under threat. Good 3D can’t save what is an otherwise dull story. Some hilarious, furry creatures though.
Star Rating: 2/5
* Review by Stephen Connolly