Demonstrating the value of family throughout history

Demonstrating the value of family throughout history

Review: The Croods 2: A New Age

4 out of 5 stars

The Croods was a runaway worldwide sensation that offered a fresh new look into the family life of prehistoric man. Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone’s comedic wit was partnered with the dramatic stylings of Nicolas Cage for this uniquely evolved storyline. One that begged for the next chapter of these cave dwellers to be written on the cave walls to see how they have faired in their ever-changing world.

To move forward, we must first go back into a past life and meet Guy’s family (Reynolds). When his parents get stuck in a tar pit and warn their son to stay clear of the danger. As they sink into the bog, the two of them instruct him to head towards the ‘Light’ to find a place called ‘Tomorrow’ where he can be safe. Guy does what he is told and ventures out on his own, even though he will never see his family again. In his travels towards the light, the youth befriends a prehistoric sloth named Belt (Chris Sanders), before running into the Croods and the rest is history (or is that pre-history?)

Eventually, the inventive young man is welcomed as one of the tribe. Even by Grug (Cage), the very protective patriarch hopes to maintain the status quo and keep his family together. This proves to be the one sticking point for Guy as he longs for time alone with Grug’s daughter, Eep (Stone), with the hope that they can start a tribe of their own. When they stumble upon a colourful and food-rich enchanted forest, the family thinks that they have found the ideal safe place for them to live.

Until they realise that it is the inhabitance of a less primitive family, the Bettermans. As the two families get to know one another, Phil (Peter Dinklage) and Hope (Leslie Mann) come to the realisation that they used to be Guy’s parents close friends. This leads them to hatch a plan to separate him from the Croods to be with their daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran). All leading to internal tensions that manage to distract them from the dangers lurking beyond the walls.

What first time director Joel Crawford has managed to do is capture the first film’s magic in this sequel and add to it with a hilariously fulfilling follow-up. Building on the foundation of the original story with Grug’s steadfastness and the tensions of the tribe’s youth wanting to make their own way in the world. Each element manages to move the story and mankind forward in the process.

Proving that humanity has not changed throughout history and that family continues to be the constant support through the highs and lows of life. With the inclusions of the Bettermans, this production bridges the heart of the prehistoric tale into a modern context with amusing results. Giving children something to enjoy and enough in-jokes for the parents to stay involved along with the kids. This latest caveman adventure delivers the right mix of the new and the old for a wildly entertaining combination for families this holiday season.

Do we have to sacrifice our family for the sake of our dreams?

Our families bring out the best and worst in our lives. Parents, siblings, and extended family members may know more about our history than we want to remember. They can remind us of our successes and our failures throughout our lives. This is the gift and challenge of the family unit.

Interestingly, the God of the Bible had the best intentions for families from the beginning of time. The purpose was to be a cohesive unit that celebrates the various gifts that each of us is given. Even in this fallen existence, family members should strive to encourage one another.

Weeping with those when they weep, celebrating when they are celebrating and speaking the truth into their lives with grace, love and mercy.

The reality of life is that some family lives are better than others and it takes work to love your family day in and day out. We should strive to love our fellow humans, but especially our blood relations. God does care about your dreams and aspirations. Still, they should not cause you to sacrifice your relationship with those closest to you. These goals should complement these connections, making the journey even richer because you are doing it with those you cherish most.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”

-John 13:34-35

The Croods 2: A New Age is now playing in cinemas.

Russ Matthews & Cliff Philipiah

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