Yes, the thing in the lake is not just a bad-tempered log, but in fact a huge crocodile. From there, it's more or less like "Jaws."
All you really need to know about this film is that it was written by David E. Kelley, creator of Ally McBeal, husband of Michelle Pfeiffer. This guy savors anorexic women like Jerry Springer savors small Southern towns.
Remember that the screen really does add ten pounds, and the sight of Bridget Fonda will make you wonder if estimating her actual weight would require Stephen Hawking to conceive a formula involving the nominal mass of neutrinos. Henry probably still weighs more than she does. Bridget plays Kelly Scott, an -ologist of some sort from New York who investigates the possibility of a prehistoric monster in a lake that's not actually called Lake Placid, but is placid nonetheless.
There she hooks up with the local sheriff, Hank Keogh (Brendan Gleeson), game Warden Jack Wells (Bill Pullman) and crocodile hunter Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt). Brendan Gleeson's accent could have used some polish or looping -- I kept expecting him to break out in a rendition of "Moll Dubh A' Ghleanna." And Hector is some super-rich guy who travels the world looking to swim with the crocs. Since when did the rich people start naming their kids Hector?
Yes, the thing in the lake is not just a bad-tempered log, but in fact a huge crocodile. From there, it's more or less like "Jaws" with all kinds of cute David E. Kelley-style interchanges in place of any actual "suspense." His main source of humor is an old woman (Betty White) who lives on the lake and starts calling people "cocksucker." Having thus expressed "Hey, look! This isn't television!" Kelley's now free to return to the realm of the precious neo-Yuppie sitcom -- a medium to which he's far better suited.
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