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I love watching this movie. I love this dialog in a "horror" film. I
got myself a copy on DVD and watch it at least a few times a year.
There are some classic lines between the city folk vs. the bumpkins.
Fonda's line about the sarcasm being too subtle is great (while
spraying RAID in the middle of Maine). Betty White is building her
career these days being the tart-mouthed old broad (see "Boston Legal"
- another David Kelley production). Also, the interplay between Oliver
Platt and the actor playing the sheriff are priceless.
Contrary to what others have written - I think the special effects go just fine with the overall campy and comedy feel of the movie and the amount of gore is also appropriate. More would change the tone of the film from the comedy which I enjoy, to one more of a gross-out nature.
Just a favorite of mine. Try it if you, for example, liked "Love at First Bite" - you will probably like this too.
When a diver is cut in half by something under the water of a quiet lake in
Maine, Sheriff Keough calls in the Rangers, Jack Wells and a New York
palaeontologist, Kelly Scott to investigate a tooth found. Wealthy
crocodile hunter Hector Cyr swoops in to insist that the creature is a
crocodile. A claim that looks increasingly likely when the body count
begins to rise.
You really need to be in the mood for a film like this or else you will likely hate it. If you love Tremors then you might be the sort of person that lake Placid is aimed at. The film's strength is that it is a big silly B-movie and it knows it. The film lets us know very early on that it is not 100% serious and this then frees us up to enjoy it rather than moaning about the sheer unlikelyness of the whole affair.
The plot is daft of course, a Jaws rip off from opening sequence to final attack. The fact that the script has a great sense of humour makes this OK so when an old woman feeds a cow to the croc then it's fine because that's just what you'd expect in this film. Likewise the humour gives rise to plenty of funny lines which add to the feeling that the film is about fun more than scares. `Is this the man who was attacked?' says Cyr, holding a toe found by the water `he seemed taller' replies the sheriff. Of course at some point the ending must come and it is as overblown as you'd expect, but even then it has it's tongue in it's cheek (fishing with a cow!?).
The crocodile effect is a mixed bag. In some instances it is good while in others it is over animated and not realistic. For the most part though it works well enough. The cast are not that good but deliver wooden performances in a good way (if that's possible). Platt steals every scene he is in by getting all the funny lines (`yeah well they conceal that sort of information in books' being a put down I fully intend to use given the chance). Pullman is given a less glamorous task of being the leading man while Fonda is like Ally McBeal in the woods! Gleeson is great fun bouncing off Platt and Betty White is so crazy that it's hard not to laugh!
Overall this is a big budget silly B-movie that laughs at itself. If you are not in the mood for that, or can't accept it for what it is then you'd do well to avoid this film. For all others there is enough good lines and silly fun to be had here to help you enjoy it, even if you do forget it shortly after watching it.
I loved this dopey movie. Funny,with an absolutely hilarious performance by Betty White, an appealing Bridget Fonda (for the first time in memory), and very likeable Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Platt. Bill Pullman was fine but the least of it. What's not to like? I mean, who wouldn't want to save an alligator that's biting people in half in an unspoiled lake 25 miles from anywhere in the middle of Maine? There are so many BAD time wasting movies out there, so much violent, or inane, or vulgar, or sadistic junk that this tongue-in-cheek tale with its dotty characters and clever ending just has to be viewed as one of those times to sit back and smile broadly without guilt. This is hard to pull off, and not to be minimized.
"Lake Placid" is one of my all-time favorite movies ever. The dialog is
sarcastic and funny no matter what's going on, which keeps it light
even with all the people getting eaten every now and then. All the
lines between Hector and the Sheriff are especially noted. Most of the
comebacks I use whenever possible in everyday conversation. Hector's
dream is awesome, though. I love Oliver Platt.
The best part is that it isn't trying to be a scream-out-loud sort of monster horror movie, it's just having fun. The acting isn't the best, but the way all the lines are delivered makes up for it, and adds to it's charm. It really reminds me of one of those cheap Sci-Fi channel monster movies with the horrible effects, only 10 times better and the effects are more real, of course. Not perfect, but better then the Sci-Fi channel. It looked like a crocodile to me.
So while you can sit there and try to pick out everything that's wrong with this movie, it's better just to sit back and enjoy it. It's not pretending to be intelligent and so the movie is best viewed knowing that. It tells you that itself within the first 10 minutes.
I love genre-bending movies, and especially those that mix horror with
comedy. That puts me dead center of the target demographic of this
film. The plot is pretty silly and there certainly isn't enough action
for anyone looking for scares. What saves it is the script. It's witty
and never takes itself too seriously. The characters are all foils for
one another, setting up some of the most entertaining dialog of any
movie I know.
The plot revolves around a 30 foot Asian crocodile somehow winding up in a lake in Maine - go figure. What makes the movie are the characters assembled to do something about it. Bridget Fonda is an annoying paleontologist who's never before ventured out of her museum. Here, she plays both the archetypal fish out of water as well as potential romantic interest for the local game warden, played by Bill Pullman. The essential characters are rounded out by Brendan Gleeson's dour sheriff, Oliver Platt's rich and eccentric mythology buff, and Betty White as the colorful local little old lady with a secret or two.
As I said, reduced to a plot outline, it's pretty unimpressive, but the verbal barbs that fly back and forth between the characters are what make the show. It's an "action/horror" movie I could watch with my eyes shut and still enjoy.
I can't tell you how much fun this movie is to watch. The cast of characters and their interactive dialog is just terrific. It has been called a bad B Movie. I hardly think that this is accurate. This film is made with skill and charm. If you laugh you do so because it was intended that you laugh. That's unbelievably hard to achieve. It's an intelligent effort with excellent Directing. I love these characters and the casting is perfect. Bridget Fonda shows us what young actresses can really offer a film. Betty White is at her best. Oliver Platt is facinating. Pullman is a great straightman. The Sheriff made the picture credible. This film will last and be seen again and again. I wish that I had made it.
My wife told me to get this movie. I told her it got terrible, terrible reviews. Well, we got it, I wound up watching it and enjoying it much more than I thought I would. More a comedy than a horror movie, it was pretty stupid, knew it was, and treated itself accordingly. Loved Brendan Gleeson as the sheriff, and Betty White's part, though small, was wonderfully eccentric.
Finally got to see this flick on HBO last night. It was entertaining. These days it's tough to find a really good film because of all of the hype so your expectations of any movie can be too high. With Lake Placid what you see is what you get. It was fun although the closing credits with the actor's interviews would lead you to believe this was an Oscar contender. The special effects were much better than the Deep Blue Sea. The other comments for this movie are on the mark highlighting the Oliver Platt and Brendan Gleeson characters. Betty White was a hoot. If you see this movie don't take it or yourself too seriously, just have fun.
As evident from most of the other reviews, people who have connected with this movie, as I have, connected quite solidly. It was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I have not been scared by a movie since I was 13 years old, so horror movies that take themselves seriously, like The Blair Witch, are extraordinarily boring and annoying. But a comedy which isn't trying too hard, as a dumb Adam Sandler movie does, to make you laugh but still makes you laugh is an excellent film. Lake Placid is it. The best part was that I couldn't garner a single thing about how good or bad the film was from any of the reviews I had read before I went to see it. Brendan Gleeson as the hic Sheriff really deserves most of the credit for making this film awesome. But, of course, since he is not a big name, you don't ever hear anything about him. Instead you hear about Bill Pullman, who is nothing special in this film.
Campy monster-movie fast-food that pokes fun at itself. Absolutely
devoid of any message, but chock full of absurd parody.
Any movie that opens with a gruff county sheriff listening to "I Think I Love You" while he fishes can't be taken seriously. And it gets far goofier than that. The dialog is a relentless parade of one-liners between the five principals: a paleontologist (Bridget Fonda), a Fish & Game guy (Bill Pullman), a croc-worshiping professor (Oliver Platt), the sheriff (Brendan Gleeson), and an eccentric hermit (Betty White). Oh, and of course, a big creature with a big attitude and a big appetite.
Great character development; and all of the characters are over the top except maybe Pullman's, whose routine nice guy persona balances with the nuts. It's a toss-up who has the most joke lines or who delivers them with the most punch; as they reel off sarcasm at the speed of a machine gun. You can almost see the actors winking at the audience, and they obviously had fun making this. Even the monster (which usually looks real) performs like a seasoned comic. The only complaint to note is that once in a while the endless arguing may wear you out.
The story, which utilizes subtle references to big creature movies like Jurassic Park and Jaws, actually manages to go somewhere. There are a few clever surprises, and the closing scene is rather unique.
No cerebral activity will be necessary in the course of watching this movie. Just settle down with some popcorn, and get ready for some good comic idiocy.
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