Director – Greg Mclean
Cast – Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier, Stephen Curry
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is another film to add to the long list of “killer croc” films like Lake Placid, Lake Placid 2, Primevil, Blood Surf, etc. After hearing that this was actually a pretty good killer animal flick, I decided to check it out. Its not amazing, but I enjoyed it. This movie stars Michael Vartan(Jennifer Garner’s love interest in the epic show Alias) as a traveling American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback. He soon joins a group of tourists on a riverboat tour in which the main attraction are Australian saltwater crocodiles and the captain is none other than Radha Mitchell(the chick from Silent Hill). After taking a detour their boat is flipped over and they wind up isolated on a small island in the middle of a giant lake. With a giant man eating crocodile on the loose in the waters around them, their luck continues to get worse as the tiny island they are on is being engulfed by the rising tide. With only a few hours to get off the island and onto shore, we witness these hapless tourists try and fight odds with a giant crocodile delightedly licking his chops like a pedophile at a middle school playground(whoops. too much?).
Like I said, I really enjoyed this movie. I loved the atmosphere these people were put in with not only the crocodile to worry about, but the rising water forcing them to make decisions rather quickly, which easily leads to social breakdown(Im a big fan of that in movies). At first we don’t really see any onscreen kills by the crocodile, but don’t be fooled you crazy diamond! After the first two kills we witness some pretty sweet deaths at the hands of the giant croc. I also really enjoyed the CGI effects for this crocodile. Ive seen some croc films (Blood Surf) that just either use a ridiculous prop for the crocodile, or use horrific CGI. This film managed to get a good quality looking croc and the designers even had the crocodile maneuver in a very natural way in which a croc would normally move(A+ for realism).
Of course there are some flaws in this film. For one, there is no cameo by Steve Irwin. I mean what the heck? A giant croc filmed, IN Australia and no Steve Irwin? What a shame!(ok I’ll stop with the extreme sarcasm now). I know I mentioned the CGI in this film is great(cuz it is), but if this could have been pulled off with an animatronic crocodile in the close up scenes that would have been amazing. We are unfortunately forced to view even the close up scenes of the croc with CGI. I also didn’t like the fact that one character was saved after it was certain he/she(I wont give anymore spoilers) was seemingly dead. I just liked the feel of the movie when the “death” occurred.
Overall, this is definitely a film you should watch if you are a fan of killer creature flicks like myself. If you enjoyed “Lake Placid” or “Black Water” then you will surely enjoy this surprisingly good “B” movie.