Alexandre Aja (director)
23 August 2019 (released)
23 August 2019
Mid-way through the film as father and daughter are having heart to heart, dad explodes ‘let’s show these pea-brained lizards’ who we are, or words to that effect. The key words here are ‘pea-brained’ because for all the attempts at backstory and reconciliation between dad and daughter this is about great big alligators on the rampage.
The film not going to tax anyone on any level but it takes some skill to write this sort of stuff (Michael and Shawn Rasmussen), and do it well. Think Les Dawson purposely playing the piano, badly.
There’s a storm building up to Category 5 and Haley (Kaya Scodelario) sets off to find father Dave (Barry Pepper) who isn’t replying to calls or texts. Breaking a police cordon Haley goes to his divorcee condo then off to the old family home. The winds and the rain are growing stronger and once at the house, tracks dad down to the cellar, crawling through she finds dad with massive injury on his arm. She revives him and that’s when the problems really start as the gators circle in for the kill.
Once the action starts it is pretty much nonstop to the end and even if it is a trifle predictable in execution; You just know what is going to happen to certain people when they appear. But there’s a fair few jumps and blood and guts to keep the attention. And it is nasty in places with the sound of bodies being ripped and thrown to the fore.
The acting is perfunctory and the CGI gators are passable. What does look odd is the colour palate which has a dull metallic hue all the way through and for all the scuzz and mud that Haley crawls through there’s a glean about it.
Alexandre Aja is in Piranha 3D mode here and isn’t tested to hard in this all-out monster fest that’s a lot of fun and will satisfy for the time it’s on screen but fall away quickly after that.