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Movie review: Stone-age storytelling in animated 'The Croods'

Published March 23, 2013 3:13 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The best thing to say about "The Croods," a by-the-numbers computer-animated caveman adventure, is that it keeps its "Flintstones" comparisons at bay until the final five minutes.

When a caveman family must leave the safety of the cave and walk toward a new land as the continents are breaking apart, the patriarch, Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage), worries that his teen daughter, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), is growing up too fast and falling for a slightly more evolved human, Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds).

Directors/writers Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco show a sure command of the technology, with lush jungle scenes bursting with color, and computer "lighting" that looks as real as a nature documentary.

Alas, the screenwriting isn't so evolved. The simplistic plot (the migration and father-daughter plotlines are identical to "Ice Age: Continental Drift') is so obviously structured that even a Neanderthal can see it coming.

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'The Croods'

Opens Friday, March 22, at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some scary action; 98 minutes.