Star Rating:

The Croods 2: A New Age

Director: Joel Crawford

Actors: Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Nicolas Cage, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, Kelly Marie Tran

Release Date: Friday 16th July 2021

Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Family

Running time: 95 minutes

The prehistoric family of the Croods continue their search for “tomorrow”, led by Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Patriarch of the family Grug (Nicolas Cage) is growing concerned of Guy and his daughter Eep’s (Emma Stone) relationship as the couple start to talk about striking out on their own. On their travels, they come across a beautiful haven where a family called the Bettermans live. While they initially welcome the Croods, the Bettermans have something of a patronising and snobby attitude, regarding themselves as superior to the cave-dwelling family. Tensions arise between the two clans…

If you haven’t seen the first ‘Croods’ movie from 2013, fear not, as the sequel quickly fills you in on all you need to know from the predecessor (though really you should watch the film anyway, on account of it being great). While the sequel doesn’t quite hit you in the feels as much as the first film, nor is it as focussed, it’s still very enjoyable with plenty of jokes that both the kids and adult family members will get a kick out of.

Cage is great again as the leader of his family, bossing them around and allocating jobs, though also proving clumsy and naïve at times. The movie touches again on the relationship between Grug and Eep, but more under the microscope are the rivalries between the two families as dad goes up against dad and mum against mum, while Guy is torn between life with the Croods or the Bettermans. In a touching twist, Eep does not find a rival in the Bettermans’ daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran) but rather her first girl friend and the two go into high-pitched, excitable hysterics when spending time together.

Aside from Tran, Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage make great new additions as Hope and Phil Betterman. Cage, Stone and Reynolds, alongside Katherine Keener and Cloris Leachman (in one of the latter’s final roles before her passing earlier this year), round out the star-filled cast, and all give great vocal performances.

As well as being colourful, vibrant and creative in its design, the ‘Croods’ follow-up is also packed with references to the first movie, speedy montages, and great visual gags and puns. A window subs in for a TV, the big cat gets likened to a motorbike (“listen to this baby purr”), and a rumbling tummy acts as the family alarm clock. The finale sees the women, led by the fiery Gran, save the day. Overall, ‘The Croods 2’ makes for a fun movie outing that’ll tickle your funny bone and impress you in its visuals.