With Nicholas Cage setting the scene as Grug, the overprotective father living in a cave with his wife (Catherine Keener), pesky mother-in-law (Cloris Leechman), and three children, his oldest daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is ready to venture forward exploring on her own. It isn’t until Eep discovers Guy (Ryan Reynolds) that her father’s word becomes questionable.
Soon Grug struggles for acceptance by the clan that used to belong to him–his family. Eep’s father sees the success in trying new approaches through the gentle coaxing of his daughter, and in desperation he conforms to non-conforming with the help of Guy, the Neanderthal inventor.
This is a great way for kids to realize in order to progress, risk must be taken, otherwise they are destined for destruction.
While the acting of Max Thieriot is exceedingly different from the role he played in The Pacifier, his performance was convincing. When the soft-spoken man arrives on the scene, any grandma will invite him in for cookies and milk. His brash side is a bit more difficult to muster as a guy able to “take care of things,” as he is a helpless preemie adult in his first house and never quite gets his head around it.
While Jennifer Lawrence performs on a five scale standard at a three as Elissa, I still hold her The Hunger Games title as her best, so far. The nosy neighbor peeking through the guy’s house and even pulling up rugs throughout deserves a spanking. She tends to wander, uninvited, throughout everywhere she comes across, into numerous bedrooms and basements.
Elisabeth Shue is the mother of the curious teen and her alcoholism and poor motherly skills may result in the crude behavior of her daughter. While they both walk around with their bra straps and bosoms exposed throughout the movie, this trashy personality does not coincide in the manor they reside, nor the position she holds working nights as a doctor. Plus, Elissa resorts to describing her mother as a former student of psychology and her actions explain her withdrawal.
The movie has a maniacal ending that no one can foresee, but that may be partially because of a few mishaps in producing the film. For example, when the mother comes to the young man’s house in search of her daughter, her police friend is already inside. His car is most certainly parked out front of the house, yet she makes no mention of it to Ryan before she accept his invitation inside.
The movie has the characters over explain each detail, as if you aren’t clever enough to figure it out on your own. For example, Ryan leans over a girl who bound to a bed and explains why he cannot leave the door unlocked. Of course, this is just before he does. But chances aren’t very good she’ll use that information while she’s chained anyway. The zombie girl stumbles drunkenly until she hits open territory and then sprints like an Olympic runner.
On a ten scale, this movie receives a well-deserved five. If more thought and time contributed to it, the plot could have pulled it up to a seven for its unpredictability. It isn’t often a movie pulls this one on me.