Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lake Placid 2 - A Review

I was kinda shocked that I was in the minority for having liked Lake Placid. From David Kelley (Allie McBeal, Boston Legal), known primarily for his prolific TV work, it was a short, fun film that was something between a comedy and special-effects spectacular. I agree that it played like a really good made-for-TV movie, and all of the characters were basically the same (wise-cracking hipsters), but it was a lot of fun and I couldn't believe more people didn't enjoy it.

Lake Placid 2, on quite the other hand, was a total shitfest.

A clear-cut and unapologetic made-for-TV flick, this Sci-Fi original could and should have been at least passable. With truly talented actors such as John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville), Sam McMurray (The Tracey Ullman Show), and veteran Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein, Bad Santa, Facts of Life), Lake Placid 2 had a decent shot at being more than just a "big lizard" movie. Unfortunately, stilted dialogue, cardboard, 1-dimensional characters, and obvious plot devices collaborated to make this flick a real bore. There wasn't a single scene in this thing that wasn't either telegraphed from a mile away or just plain cliched.

At the end of the original, Betty White's character was seen feeding a small school of little crocodiles. This installment takes up some years later, when they have grown to full-size and are once again nesting. John Schneider is now the town's sheriff and his son has reluctantly come to visit. In the first of many "Duh" scenes, the love interest is introduced automatically and we already know they'll wind up together somehow.

I could go on, but what's the point? The entire movie is just as clod-hopping thick as this opening sequence (the Fish & Wildlife expert called in is pretty, and apparently a former flame of the sheriff's; McMurray is a "big white hunter" who is [not-so-]secretly a coward; Leachman is a "crazy" old woman who lives alone on the lake; blahblahblah). There was not a single moment in this movie where the audience would ever think, "I wonder what's coming next?" In fact, every scene in this movie makes the audience think, "I wonder what else is on?"

One of the few movies I'd suggest passing up for Paid Programming.

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