FEBRUARY 10, 2008
I think I killed Roy Scheider.
As I was watching Lake Placid 2, I commented how it made the original (which I wasn’t a big fan of either, though Brendan Gleeson was pretty awesome, as usual) look like Jaws in comparison. Then a few hours later I went to my PC and saw that Scheider had died a few hours earlier. Sorry.Of course, the movie is supposed to be as funny as it is scary – but it doesn’t work in that matter either. Cloris Leachman replaces Betty White (she plays the original character’s sister) and her wicked old lady routine is supposed to amuse, but it doesn’t at all, and neither does anyone else. The only actual laugh I got out of the entire film is when some EPA guy picks up his dead friend’s leg and waves it around in a “Do you believe me NOW!” type moment. 1 laugh, 0 scares, 88 minutes. You do the math (if I provided enough information to solve the problem).
Suffice to say, Lake Placid 2 is a really fucking terrible movie, even by Sci-Fi standards. It’s not even goofy fun like the original or the average ‘original’ Sci-Fi film. Headless Horseman may not have been a classic, but I was at least entertained and the production value was high. This can’t even manage that, as (painfully obvious/bad) CG is not only used for every single shot of the damn croc, but even a goddamn seaplane (and they actually manage to make the plane look faker than the crocodile!). At least the CG editor knew how bad the plane looked, since after it docks it promptly disappears from every shot it should be in until they actually use it again. Nice work. And while they actually do a decent job of pretending that Bulgaria is Maine, the over abundance of Bulgarian cast members with thick Bulgarian accents sort of ruins the façade.
But abysmally bad production value on every level isn’t what sinks this film. What really brings it down (besides blatantly copying the character types from the original – Bill Pullman and Brendan Gleeson are combined into John Schneider, Sam McMurray plays an Oliver Platt clone, and some broad I’ve never heard of is the poor substitute for Bridget Fonda) is how nonchalant everyone is when they see this gigantic crocodile bearing down on them. Granted, there was nothing there (there’s a hilarious moment where a guy swings a stick, and we even hear it connect, but the stick doesn’t hit anywhere near the CG croc), and the damn thing’s size changes from shot to shot, but for Christ’s sake, ACT! At one point they simply sit there and watch the croc swim up and then demolish the boat they are sitting on; I don’t think they even bother to scream. Everyone is so matter of fact during the attack scenes that you can almost forget that they are in danger at all. If they aren’t scared (or fuck, even ENGAGED), why the hell should I be?
Sadly, the only frightening things in the film are Schneider’s hair:
And this dude’s bizarre chest hair patterns:
Another annoyance is the film’s ending. After Schneider delivers a record three (THREE!) one-liners to the crocodile and finally kills it, the movie drags for another 3-4 minutes as we learn that Schneider and the EPA chick are going to go out for dinner, and that his son is going to hook up with the girl who lives next door. Guess what, whoever wrote this crap – no one gives a rat’s ass about a single non-crocodile character in this film. Once the last croc is dead, the movie is over. If you’re going to keep it going, at least add in a little set up for the 3rd film, however unwanted it may be.
The disc also has 3 featurettes of equal value to the film itself (so, none whatsoever). One is a fast forwarded version of the film that only plays the parts with tits and gore, but since these moments are so botched those aren’t worth watching either; you’ll want to fast forward this version as well. The other two are just more or less clip reels. Thanks for wasting even more of my time, FOX (or Sony, whoever had the final say in this joint release). The only worthwhile thing on the entire disc is a spot for some Sam Jackson/Josh Hartnett movie that has 1.2 seconds of my beloved Rachel Nichols contained within; though that’s hardly enough to warrant even renting this goddamn abomination.
What say you?