Film Review: Crocodile Island 巨鱷島(2020) - China
Reviewed by Andrew CHAN (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Guilty popcorn pleasure is what you can best describe the Hong Kong star Gallen Lo led giant monster disaster film “Crocodile Island”. Replicating the success of Hollywood similar genre films with “The Rock” or Jason Statham (think “The Meg”), this low budget highest grossing Chinese made web-release contains all the hallmarks tensions, cheese and cheap-frills minus the big budget special effects. The good news is that despite the relative unknown cast with the exception of Lo, the young cast performs well as one by one gets eaten or beaten by either the gigantic crocodile or the menacing giant spiders. To say that this kind of film is fun to watch may seem peculiar, but despite the cheese and obvious poor effects, the film stays simple to its genre cliches and premises and sometimes, it can work.
Gallen Lo brings crucial star power and physical presence to the central role as father and protector of the survivors. This is a good role for Lo and a return to form after the disappointing return to TVB series in recent years. Lo shows plenty of required grit and strength to anchor a believable arc to the proceedings. The daughter (played by newcomer Liao Yinyue provides a promising performance and plays off well with Lo. Meanwhile, Liao’s love interest Wang Bingxiang makes good use of the shared screen time in a good physical survival performance.
All in all, “Crocodile Island” is unlikely the kind of film that will set off any sort fire to the already cliche filled genre, but the entertainment value and audience niche remains there. Gallen Lo makes good use of his star power to enhance the film credibility. Co-directors Xu Shixing and Simon Zhao keeps everything simple and never venture out of its comfort zone and in effect created a cheesy yet efficient monster disaster movie.
I rated 6/10