January 1, 2021 – I did not expect much from this, a sequel to a 2013 animated film, but it was a pleasant surprise. It features many of the original voice cast members, Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman. They are joined by new voice cast members, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran.
The story picks up sort of where the first one left off with the primitive caveman family, the Croods on the move, looking for a nice place to settle down. We see the young woman, Eep Crood, on the lookout for a mate. She finds Guy, much to the chagrin of her father, Grug, the patriarch of the Crood family.
Grug becomes concerned that Eep and Guy will move away, so he finds a great place for all of them to live behind a giant wall. Grug thinks this great new home will entice Eep and Guy to stay with the family group, rather than moving away to find their own, separate home.
Instead, Grug and the others discover that this great new home is actually the place that Guy originally came from. It is owned by the more evolved family of Phil and Hope Betterman, along with their daughter, Dawn. Guy is from another family. The details about this other family, how they are related to the Bettermans and what happened to them, are not explained.
The Betterman family lives in an enormous tree house, surrounded by acres of lush cultivated tropical plants fed by a stream from nearby mountains. The Croods are invited to stay, but it turns out the Bettermans have an ulterior motive. They want Guy to marry Dawn, even though he is clearly in love with Eep. The Betterman parents scheme to persuade Eep and the rest of the Croods to move away, leaving Guy behind.
These secret plans cause big problems when the Croods learn about them. It turns out that Dawn, Eep and Guy all have their own ideas about their own futures which are quite different than what the Betterman parents have in mind for them.
The story concludes with a wild adventure as Guy, Phil and Grug are all captured by monkeys who plan to offer them up as sacrifices to a giant ape-like creature. The remaining members of the Crood and Betterman clans band together to mount a rescue.
This movie is loaded with bright colors, flashy visuals, a lively story and equally effective humor and action elements. I found it quite enjoyable. Don't look for any realism or historical accuracy here, just a lot of imagination and fun. This film rates a B.
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