Friday, 13 September 2013

Lake Placid (1999)

Where most movies about an enormous crocodile eating people may try to concentrate on trying to scare and shock people, Lake Placid does its best to make us laugh.  Essentially a B-movie, (in style if not in budget) Lake Placid has one main thing going for it; the script.  Wry, witty and sarcastic the main characters always seem to be taking the piss out of each other as this disparate group of people are all thrown together as events develop.  At the centre of everything is local Sheriff Frank Keough played wonderfully by the under-rated Brendan Gleeson. Bill Pullman (fish & game), Bridget Fonda (museum curator) and Oliver Platt (crocodile hunter) complete the main characters, and all their personalities bounce off each other delightfully, particularly Gleeson and Platt who are always superbly sarcastic to one another.

Gleeson to Platt (who is about to dive into the lake): “I brought a pork chop for luck. Maybe you could hang it around your neck.”

Platt: “That’s sweet. Maybe later you could chew the bark off my big fat log!”

We only see glimpses of eye and teeth for possibly half the film, but when we do see the croc in all its glory for the first time it leaves quite an impression.  Generally it’s a case of less is more, so we don’t see the croc all that much, but the CG elements still look great, and since the animatronic sequences were created by the Stan Winston studio they look as tremendous as you would expect.  None of it is terribly scary, but then that’s not the point.  Sure there are a few gruesome moments in the film, but the emphasis is definitely on the sarcastic humour.  With a clever script and diverse yet great cast, Lake Placid is a very entertaining and funny film. And there’s something endlessly hilarious about Betty White feeding a cow to a giant crocodile shouting “Come and get it!”  But, well, you know, that’s just, like, er, my opinion, man.