Lake Placid Movie Review

"Lake Placid" is a sub-standard monster movie with such a greatcast of enjoyable stars you won't even care that it's bad.

Star number one: Bridget Fonda, who plays a lab jockeypaleontologist, an indoor kind of girl sent to a remote lake in Maine toexamine what appears to be a prehistoric tooth found in the remains ofa Fish and Game scuba diver, bitten in half by creature or creatures unknown.

Star number two: The criminally under-recognized BrendanGleeson ("The General," "Braveheart"), playing a lemon-facedlocal sheriff who lets it be known he wants nothing to do with sarcasticcity slickers coming to his county and calling themselves "experts"on this and that.

And boy are they sarcastic (more about the stars in a minute).The movie's saving grace -- what keeps the absurdity enjoyable -- is theconstant pot shots traded between scientists, local law enforcement, aneccentric old lady who lives on the lake and knows more than she's willingto say (enter Betty White -- star number three -- at her ironically foul-mouthedbest), and an even more eccentric, mercenary and motor-mouthed millionaire(Oliver Platt -- number four, and also under-appreciated) with his ownhelicopter and a dogmatic mania for...crocodiles.

Knowing this much, you can guess the rest: Somewhere inthis murky but picturesque, and inexplicably isolated lake lurks a giganticand incredibly well-rendered CGI croc that eats grizzly bears in a singlebite and chomps the heads off of extras who lean too far over the sidesof boats.

Written by "Ally McBeal" creator David E. Kelley,"Lake Placid" isn't particularly scary or clever. Visually andprogressively it follows without deviation a three-act outline cementedby decades of monster movies, and at times it makes no sense whatsoever(why would "no one live within 25 miles" of a gorgeous, idylliclake in New England?).

The characters are stock and the croc is, ultimately, theone audiences root for when Gleeson and Fish and Game guy Bill Pullman("Zero Effect," "Independence Day") want to kill it. Fonda and Platt,of course, want to tranquilize it and move it to a nature reserve or something.

Even the smart remarks aren't all that funny on paper,although Kelley gets points for having his characters sass each other inlayers and rhythms weakly reminiscent of a Howard Hawks comedy.

But it's because of Fonda, Pullman, Gleeson, White andespecially Platt -- and their rabid enjoyment of their ruthlessly acerbicdialogue -- that this otherwise dismissable drive-in flick lands in thatinexplicable category called Good Dumb Fun.

Comments

Lake Placid Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, Friday, July 16, 1999

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Chance The Rapper's New Song "No Better Blues" Will Make Or Break Your Weekend

Ok, let’s talk about Chance the Rapper and No Better Blues, because that’s...

Chance The Rapper's New Song

David Ayer's Gory Portrayal Of WWII Psychosis "Fury" Is Making A Killing In Reviews

It’s a mixed bag for Brad Pitt’s latest production, Fury, after the tense war movie...

David Ayer's Gory Portrayal Of WWII Psychosis

Bjork: Biophilia Live

Bjork's fans will adore this film, which captures the last night of her Biophilia world tour with remarkable artistry and an...

Bjork: Biophilia Live Movie Review

Gia Coppola's Palo Alto Is A Next-Generation Movie

One of the more striking things about the new multi-strand teen drama Palo Alto is how it features a...

Gia Coppola's Palo Alto Is A Next-Generation Movie

'The Book of Life' is Beautiful, But It's No Masterpiece

When the first trailer hit for The Book of Life, we got very, very excited. The project had originally...

'The Book of Life' is Beautiful, But It's No Masterpiece

My Name is Hmmm... - Review

From France, this artful drama is designed to stir controversy among viewers, approaching taboo issues in a way that can't...

My Name is Hmmm... Movie Review

Demi Lovato - Don't Forget / Catch Me (Acoustic Medley) [Live]

Demi Locato gives a live acoustic performance of 'Don't Forget / Catch Me' at Certified Superfanfest...

Demi Lovato - Don't Forget / Catch Me (Acoustic Medley)  [Live] Video

David Fincher's Gone Girl Holds The Box Office

David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel Gone Girl has won the...

David Fincher's Gone Girl Holds The Box Office
Advertisement