Directed by: Michael Katleman
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones, Jürgen Prochnow
Probably, this is the trend that Hollywood follows. If a particular film on a particular idea works at the box office, everyone jumps in the bandwagon and compete with each other to outdo it. This film is a serious attempt at outdoing what the previous blockbusters on the same theme achieved.
Two themes that are instantly visible in the film are Africa and violent horror, both of which have made so many appearance in movies that you really do not care. Recently, you saw different shades of Africa in Last King of Scotland and Blood Diamond. At the same time, almost all the violent movies are doing roaring business, look at Apocalypto, 300, The Hills Have Eyes.
The point is that there’s absolutely nothing new for the film to offer, and it makes a serious mistake when the tagline screams: ‘Inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history.’ You are seriously misinformed, for the serial killer in question is not a man, but a crocodile.
Welcome to the latest addition in the already crowded shelf of monster movies, where, yes you guessed it right, Americans volunteer to save the day. If you are reminded of Anaconda, then you know what to expect from this film.
So there is this six-meter-long, one-ton crocodile residing on a river-island near Lake Tanganyika in Burundi, called Gustave, who is rumoured to have killed over three hundred bathers and travelers en route through the Ruzizi River.
It’s time that the Americans tamed the beast. An American news crew is sent to Burundi, by its network chief to hunt and capture Gustave. Here begins the thrill, as producer Tim Freeman (Dominic Purcell, of Prison Break) and cameraman Steven Johnson (Orlando Jones) joined by two animal experts: one a Steve Irwin-style croc hunter, the other a local named JoJo are set out on a journey up-river in search of their subject. But the deeper they probe into the mystery of this elusive assassin, the deadlier their trip becomes. Not only the croc threaten their existence, there is a warlord too making the things more complicated.
Yeah. Gustave is great, in a Lake Placid way! There are tense moments, not exactly nail-biting, but scary enough. There is African landscape, there is a black guide, there is a skimpily clad white female, there is a fearless hero. Everything is intact. You really do not miss anything (probably, J Lo of Anaconda!)
Finally, do not expect much and you will like the film. Promise!
Rating ** ½ (Good, well almost)