The technical attributes of The Croods are many; I saw the movie in 3D with my wife and two children (11 and 8). The adults and the kids will marvel at the 3D, like the little glowing red cinders that would come floating out of the screen toward the audience, byproducts of a fire on screen. Technically, The Croods is solid.
The problem is that the kids, who grew up with this stuff, have seen the 3D magic done many times before, and that alone will not win their enthusiasm. The movie must do more than dazzle; it must also entertain, and to do that it must make some sense. Sadly, The Croods comes up a little short in both respects.
First, The Croods, as far as I could tell, are human beings. That means they can't run like gazelles, or hurl rocks five hundred yards, or survive getting thrown off a cliff etc. These Croods bear little resemblance to human beings. The baby scuttles across the ground like a wild animal; the daughter clambers up vertical cliffs like no animal I've ever seen, human or not. With the disconnect, I never knew what species I was watching, and it put the premise of the plot on shaky footing going in.
I know, it's only a movie. I get that. If it was a Superman movie, maybe then it would make sense, but there's no part of the plot that gives the family super powers, and yet they appear to have them. And yet despite these powers, the father keeps telling them how dangerous the world is.
The Incredibles was a movie featuring a family of "supers." That movie, with a premise as equally impossible as the premise The Croods, was at least internally consistent. For instance, Flash could run fast, and that's what he did. Elasti-Girl could stretch herself, and she did that. It was part of the plot, and it was explained as such. In this movie, there are too many things that seem to make no sense, and are not explained. Like, how the baby can outrun a wild animal.
Setting all of that aside, I asked my eight year old how she liked it, and she told me it was "weird" (see above), and that "the same things kept happening." That was the other problem – as dazzling as the technical side of it is, the action had a certain sameness to it after a while.
Should you go? Sure, why not. Bring the kids. They'll get a couple of chortles; they'll enjoy the 3D stuff, all of that. Pixar, it's not, but it's good enough to get you through the night.
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