Written by TV wunderkind David E. Kelley, 1999’s “Lake Placid” was an crocodile movie with little bite — a harmless, mildly engaging, summer-season concoction of horror and comedy. By contrast, the only laughs to be had in “Lake Placid 2″ are the ones you’ll emit at it, rather than with it.
Released straight to DVD, this in-name-only sequel retains none of the talent behind or in front of the camera. (One may argue it features no talent at all.) The cast appears to be carbon copies of the original’s characters, what with the heroic sheriff, the evil hunter, the babe, the crazy old lady, etc.
Regardless of John Schneider’s top billing, ’tis the croc that’s the star of the show. Or rather, crocs plural. The one thing “2” does right is to up the quantity of killer reptiles, although the slim effects budget does not do them justice. Still, they manage to eat their way through an unappealing cast of young, amateurish actors in various states of disrobing.
If this talk of gore ‘n’ gorgeous makes you interested in a casual viewing, Fox’s unrated edition makes it easy for you, with a nine-minute bonus feature that compresses the movie into a “Gnawed Up” version. This means it zooms through all the boring parts, pausing only for when someone gets naked, gets killed or both. Watching it will save you 75 glorious minutes. —Rod Lott