REVIEW: Crocodile II (2002)

It’s Monday, which means it’s time to dive back into one man’s continuing adventures in mediocrity. I have a masochistic urge to watch every terrible film in existence, so that you don’t have to. As many of these crimes against cinema come in the form of four-in-one collections or the diabolical duel disk horrors which I have lined up for further down the line, I call this series Multipack Mondays. Please enjoy, because lord knows I didn’t…

Last week, I watched the painfully awful Crocodile, sitting up until three in the morning scribbling notes and putting together the first in this new series of blogs. As horrible as Crocodile was, I was only able to briefly enjoy the sense of relief that came as the credits rolled because an awful realisation soon dawned. With Crocodile done and dusted, I now had the unenviable chore of watching and reviewing Crocodile II.

Opening title screen, which reads "Crocodile 2: Death Roll"
Brought to you in fabulous Croc-o-Vision!

Oh. Well, I guess the old adage about books and covers also applies to DVDs. Crocodile II is in fact Crocodile II: Death Roll. Unless you refer to the IMDB link above, in which case you’ll notice it’s listed as Crocodile 2: Death Swamp. Other titles include Crocodile 2: A Croc Too Far, Crocodile 2: This Time It’s Also A Crocodile and Crocodile 2: A Reptile Dysfunction. I may have made up the last three, but honestly when a film can’t even decide on a bloody title, I get nervous.

Also, just look at that title screen. How does a film from 2002 have an opening sequence straight out of an eighties cop show? The whole thing feels like it’s been written as a film within a film. Like Angels With Filthy Souls in Home Alone, or Ball Fondlers from Rick And Morty. Crocodile 2: The Re-Crocodiling feels like it was made so thirty seconds of it could be used for a background joke in a parody starring Leslie Nielsen.

With the king of spoofs in mind, at one point in Crocodile 2: Maw Money, Maw Problems where two people are engaged in a shootout. Each gunman is hiding behind opposite sides of the same office cubicle divider and the ridiculous scene brought to mind the close proximity shootout from Naked Gun 2½: The Smell Of Fear. The similarity reinforced that weird sense that what I was watching was not, in any sense, an actual film. I half expected it to be book-ended with sequences from The Kentucky Fried Movie. Sadly, it was very real and I watched all eighty-nine minutes and thirty seven seconds of the thing. It hurt.

Leslie Nielsen in a comedic, close proximity shootout from the film Naked Gun 2.
Picture this, only earnest and annoying.

To run down the plot (and by the way, spoilers ahead but I would advise against watching this if you have any love for your eyes, ears and mind), Crocodile 2 opens with a bank robbery. Four men in balaclavas storm into a bank which appears to be the hastily redecorated Portakabin office of a reconstruction company, probably owned by the director’s uncle. They wave guns around, yell a lot and use the word fuck more times in three minutes than i’ve used it in my entire thirty six years on this planet and if i’m honest, I swear like it’s the only thing keeping me alive.

The villains pull off a truly brilliant heist by tapping the word “Unlocked”, which is written in a notepad file on an ancient PDA. They then proceed to load several stacks of “dollar bills” into a bag, which are clearly shown to be piles of blank papers topped with poorly printed play money, pausing briefly to threaten one of the bank staff with public sodomy. Clearly a slick team of professionals.

We cut to Mia, a flight attendant, who opens a small box to find an engraved Zippo lighter. The message reads “Mia, you light up my life, love Zach”. The aforementioned Zach then calls and they talk and the relationship is clearly strained and blah, blah, blah. I tried to care about their relationship but here’s the thing. I’ve got a flight attendant and her forlorn lover, a split-screen phone conversation with a black line running up the middle and a voice in the background talking announcing the White Zone is for loading and unloading only. At this point, I had to eject the disc to make absolutely sure that I hadn’t somehow managed to find a copy of the previously undiscovered spoof sequel, Airplane 3.

Shot of four men walking through an airport, dressed in leather jackets and dark clothing
Pictured (left to right): I Wish I Was Bradley Whitford, Not Edward Norton, Morpheisn’t and Donald Sutherland’s bastard son, Gerald.

Would you just look at the state of that lot. As these four unlovable assholes walked through the airport in slow motion, I started to question the decision to watch Crocodile 2: Croc & Load. The entire cast is full of “Oh, so you couldn’t afford…” types. You know the kind, the guys you see in all the straight-to-DVD flicks who remind you faintly of someone much more famous and talented. They’re not awful actors, but this IS an awful film and so they stumble their way through this monster movie slash heist flick slash thriller and after I find myself massively disappointing that after fifteen minutes, not one of them has been torn limb from limb.

I won’t bore you with a blow by blow of the plot because this film is essentially just a series of tropes and you can probably figure it out for yourselves. Watch ten minutes of Crocodile 2: The Tooth, The Whole Tooth And Nothing But The Tooth and you can plot out the rest of the thing without much effort. The plane is obviously going to crash. That’s a given. They’ve mentioned bad weather a couple of times and ground control wants the plane to head back, so the master criminals will most likely hijack the plane, accidentally shoot the pilot or put a bullet in the fuselage somehow and then WHAM! Nose-first into a nest of nasties.

Thanks to the thrilling Drink Service Scene, we’re introduced to a bunch of people who might as well be packed in tins marked Croc Chow as not one of these poor bastards is making it to the end credits. There’s Douche Lawyer, Irritating Teenager, The Really Smart Kid and a handful of no-names who’ll most likely be immolated when the plane ploughs down into reptile central.The surviving villains (pretty sure the British guy is going to die) will herd the other survivors through the swamp at gunpoint. Cue the big croc, one by one they all get munched and eventually Mia will get rescued. In fact, probably by Zach, through some set of bullshit circumstances which make little sense. That’s probably about right, don’t you reckon?

So, the pilot gets told to turn around and announces this over the speaker. The Feckless Foursome managed to stow guns in their shoes so they hijack the plane, accidentally shoot the co-pilot AND the instrument panel, nailing an impressive two-for-one, then WHAM! Nose-first into a nest of nasties. British baddie is dead, most of the passengers are extra crispy and the crooks begin to herd the remaining surv-look, you get the point. It’s a formulaic film and while I don’t mind a bit of by-the-numbers fun when you’ve got some good one liners and decent action scenes, this is an entirely predictable cliché-fest with dreadful dialogue, wooden acting and CGI cobbled together on a Nokia 3210.

The one saving grace in this film comes in the cigar-chewing, booze-guzzling form of Roland, the tracker, played by none other than Martin “Make His Knuckles Bleed” Kove!

A picture of the actor Martin Kove
“Crocodile, huh? Have you tried sweeping the leg?”

Kove is the best actor in this thing and does what he can with the dialogue he’s given. He’s entertaining, but I freely admit some of the joy I got from seeing him may well have been linked to the moment that I yelled “OH BLOODY HELL IT’S JOHN KREESE!” and started thinking about The Karate Kid. Still, Roland is a brief flash of light in the darkness that is Crocodile 2: Oh, Water Way To Go and he is introduced as Zach, seeing a television news report about Mia’s plane going missing, does what any worried lover would do and hires the first drunk guy who says he knows how to find a plane in a swamp. These are those bullshit circumstances I mentioned earlier which will no doubt lead to an end sequence where Mia and Zach are happy, sipping margaritas and sadly not being chewed on by crocodiles, alligators or any other large, scaled predator. There’s no justice in this world.

The rest of Crocodile 2: How Croc Got Her Groove Back proceeds as expected, so i’ve just highlighted a few of the “best” bits for you below:

1) The Really Smart Kid tells his captors to watch out for the bubbling methane pockets. In response, one of the idiots puts a cigarette to it and to no-one’s surprise, it bursts into flames. It was at this exact moment that I knew how the croc was eventually going to die. Not so much foreshadowing as fore-blotting-out-the-sun-entirely.

2) Douche Lawyer, having climbed through a high window and safely evaded being devoured, leans out the window to flip off the crocodile and scream insults at it. Frankly it was a relief when the crocodile jumped twenty feet straight in the air and pulled him out of the window in a move that you could see coming with your eyes closed.

3) The Really Smart Kid turns out to be The Incredibly Stupid Corpse when he grabs a knife to try and take on the bus-sized killer reptile that has been hunting them through miles of swamp. He falls in the water and gets eaten immediately. Good, good.

4) Roland treats us to the legend of (and it’s possible I misheard this, but nevertheless…) El Gato Diablo. Roughly translated, The Devil Cat. So, there’s that.

5) Assuming I did mishear, the legend has absolutely nothing to do with the legend of Crocodile’s big beasty, thus confirming that this is a sequel to Crocodile only in as much as they both feature crocodiles. You know, much as The Lion King continues the epic tale of The Cowardly Lion from Wizard of Oz.

6) After being tipped out of a boat by the crew of bank robbers, Martin Kove hides under the water, swims up behind the ringleader and pulls a gun on him. The cigar never leaves his mouth. I swear to the crocodile gods of old, he erupts from the river like an avenging angelfish and that cuban is still clamped firmly in his teeth. Martin god-damn Kove, folks!

7) The crocodile takes down a sodding helicopter. I can’t begin to tell you how angry I am.

Taking a look at the technical elements, well, there’s really not a whole lot to say. The sound quality isn’t quite as poor as Crocodile, but it’s not great. The CGI is truly painful to look at and the practical effects are…well, at one point the crocodile lifts up one of the walking meat-sacks in it’s jaws and judging by the way it moves up and down, i’m guessing they strapped the plastic croc head onto a seesaw and just went nuts.

In conclusion, I would be forced to award Crocodile: Part Deux just one soggy, well-chewed cigar out of a pack of five. If you ever make the questionable decision to watch this film, please first seek the advice of a medical professional and always wear appropriate protective gear. I’d suggest a thick blindfold and ear defenders.

As always, thanks to IMDB for the actor and movie info linked in this article. Not that they know about it, but i’m sure they wouldn’t mind.

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