EMMA Stone’s charisma has a life of its own, and it is out of control.
Her charm, established in Superbad, Zombieland and Easy A, is so potent that she is able to steal an entire film with just her voice.
The 25-year-old, red-headed beauty hides behind the microphone for The Croods but her infectious personality leaps off the screen and manages to stand out from the dizzying action sequences, snappy script and co-star Nicolas Cage’s over-acting.
Voicing the inquisitive and adventurous cave-girl Eep, Stone perfectly embodies the necessary child-like innocence as her character goes on a journey of self-discovery.
In prehistoric times, the world is changing and Eep is willing to change along with it, much to the chagrin of her stubborn father Grug (Cage) who coops his dysfunctional prehistoric family (cranky mother-in-law, dopey pre-teen son and animalistic toddler) up in a cave to avoid all possible dangers.
With the end of the world looming, they meet Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a brainy fellow who seems to be the next step in the evolution chain, and knows of a safe place to avoid the Earth’s self-destruction.
The road trip journey, which includes a stop in an Avatar-like utopian destination, is hampered by bloodthirsty creatures and a clash of ideals between Grug and is growing daughter and her enlightened love interest.
This family-friendly ride with a Meet the Parents vibe, about adapting to change, independence and living life to the full is a pure delight, with colourful characterisations, a script of gags that appeal to all age demographics and visuals that are best enjoyed in 3D.
Cage is perfectly cast as the gorilla-like patriarch and Reynolds offers a witty dreamboat tone with his voice, but Stone’s voice dominates.
If Stone’s next project were reading out names from the White Pages, I would lock myself up in a cave with it.
The Croods (PG)
Director: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Starring: Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener
Rating: Three and a half stars