Link: The Croods
Summary: When random natural disasters begin happening, a family of cavemen are forced to venture out of their caves to seek a safer place to leave.
Thoughts: I must admit, my eyes got a bit misty watching this film. Because I was yawning so much. It was awful. I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters. The father is constantly plagued with worry; he’s seen many other families die on his dangerous planet, and prefers his family to stay in a cave and stay there. But his daughter refuses to heed his warning, wanting to experience the wonders of nature. When the cave is destroyed, the family is forced to face nature in all its beauty and danger. The father feels like he’s losing his family as they all seek wisdom in Guy, a hip cool guy who doesn’t shy away from danger but looks for ways to conquer it.
A couple problems. Firstly, the story switched main characters. At first, it seems the teenage girl is the main character, as she struggles to explore the world while her father wants her to stay safe in the cave. But when the family is forced out of their home, the father becomes the main character, as he struggles to face danger that he’d rather shy away from.
Secondly, the father’s dislike for Guy makes no sense. If anything, he’d cling to Guy for guidance, which could’ve inspired some good comedy. Meanwhile, the daughter’s dislike of her father’s worrying makes no sense, since he’s not carrying out any discipline or actually harming her in any way. I just don’t understand these characters’ motivations for their attitudes.
So, when we reach the end, what exactly was the story about? I think the theme they were going for was not being afraid of experiencing new things, even though they might be dangerous. But the actual events of the story and the decisions the characters make do not illustrate this theme, so characters are forced to say it out loud so bluntly that it’s supposed to double as a joke. Experiencing new things is never a consequence of a decision any of them make on their own; nature continually forces it upon them. It’s like trying to elucidate the joy of skydiving when the plane is on fire. It’s not an interesting decision to jump from a plane when the only other option is getting consumed by flames. That’s not conflict. Evading one disaster after another is not a story about trying new things.
Can Chris Sanders make a good film without Dean DeBlois? Nope. Not yet, anyway. But my negative opinion is in the minority. The film has made a boat load of money, and a sequel has already been announced. I think I might miss it.