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