Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Michael Madsen, Peter Tuinstra, Sherry Phungprasert, Elizabeth Healey, Scott Hazell
Directed by Stewart Raffil
Distributed by Genius Products, LLC.
Croc is every bit as generic as its title implies. A positively perfunctory exercise in nature gone amok filmmaking, if not for the exotic Thailand locales and Thai supporting actors - some of whom recite their lines in stilted English - Croc would just be another run-of-the-mill killer animal movie that’s short on fun and long on formula. Eventually even the Thai flavoring cannot save Croc from being just another mundane killer crocodile flick in a long line of mundane killer crocodile flicks.
A really big crocodile starts terrorizing a Thailand tourist resort area. In all honesty, that's practically the entire film's plot in a nutshell. Big croc, Thai tourists start getting eaten, and people set out to stop it before more people get eaten. End of story.
There's this guy named Jack McQuade (who looks way too young for the part) running an animal park tourist attraction in Thailand that attracts more creditors than customers and even some nefarious individuals determined to run him off by hook or by crook. I was never quite sure if they were shady underworld types who appeared to be even younger than McQuade or if they were just young rich pricks stooping to underworld tactics, but aside from being ultimately unnecessary to the plot, these prerequiste human villains for the sake of giving the movie some human villains come across more like a bunch of Thai frat boys plotting how to steal a keg of beer than criminal elements scheming to steal someone’s land.
A Thai animal welfare lady shows up to chastise McQuade for some minor infractions and you better believe romance eventually blossoms between the two. McQuade also has a young horndog nephew named Theo who is also constantly macking on the local Thai beauties.
Meanwhile, a really big crocodile has shown up and begun eating tourists and locals alike. Why has this big man-eating croc that's been terrorizing peasant villagers upriver suddenly made its way south to terrorize tourist areas? Why global warming, of course. At least that was the best excuse they could hypothesize, not that they spend much time trying to hypothesize its reason for being there. However, it is quite obvious the screenwriter got his hands on a big book of crocodile facts given how often such random facts spew forth from the mouths of various characters.
Saboteurs released some of the crocs from McQuade's tourist trap and authorities look to blame him when body parts wash ashore. Oh, if only there was a name actor who could help sell this film to international markets that they could cast in the bit part as a grizzled crocodile hunter who’ll prove McQuade's crocs aren't responsible and then join forces with him to help hunt down and kill the croc that actually is.
And that's when Michael Madsen shows up to collect an easy paycheck. I'd dare call his an effortless performance in the sense that he does the absolute minimum required of him both verbally and physically. Mr. Blonde has his "I'm only here 'cause I need beer money" face on, which is fitting since his character constantly looks and sounds like he's nursing a hangover. Method acting?
But who cares about plot and characters when what we're all really here for is the killer crocodile and seeing it chomp people. Prepare for massive disappointment. Aside from infrequent use of a CGI crocodile and a prosthetic croc head that's used even less, Croc's croc is pretty much a product of nature footage of a real-life crocodile. If you like close-up shots of a crocodile’s eye then you’ll be happy. It's supposed to be a rather large crocodile but there's almost never any sense of scale due to the stock footage being of an average crocodile; the illusion of its enormity only works when the prosthetic head or CGI is used. Outside of a highly improbable swimming pool death scene that comes complete with multiple continuity errors, most of the croc attacks are pretty par for the course, telegraphed well in advance to the point of negating any suspense, and many occur underwater in a manner obscuring the carnage. There's just not a lot of fun to be had watching this croc attack.
You know a killer animal flick stinks when the climax has six characters heading off to kill the beast and when the dust settles all six are still alive and predominantly uninjured, despite two of them actually getting chomped and dragged off by the croc.
1 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5
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