Sunday, October 13, 2013

SyFy vs. The Mynd: Robocroc (2013)

The set-up of Arthur Sinclair's (whoever he might be) "increasingly robotic crocodile on a highly localized rampage" movie is so bog-standard for a SyFy film I can just skip details like character names, keeping completely in the spirit of a movie that might just as well have done the same.

So, a military satellite crashes over a zoo, and mild-mannered but large crocodile Stella is infected with one of those "behind the enemy lines" weapons without a sensible way to get rid of them once they have slaughtered the enemy - civilians, military, and people who surrender alike. In this particular case, said weapon are nano robots that turn their victim into an indestructible killer machine. The military can't quite cut it fighting the menace, of course (one suspects they are spread rather thin with murdering brown people in various countries across the globe), and the mad scientist who invented the things (played gleefully by Dee Wallace as the only person who was actually awake during the shoot of the film) is secretly helping the robocroc. So the fight against the metallic menace falls to zoo keeper Corin Nemec and "the new biologist" Lisa McAllister. The latter, alas, is a girl, and therefore not allowed to do anything of interest. There's also some stuff about Nemec's scrawny teenage son being menaced by the croc, so Nemec has a bit of motivation for his heroism, and the film an opportunity to show us another one of those mysterious American "spring break" rituals.

Theoretically, all this could make for a rather fun monster movie; in practice, though, Robocroc feels like a film made on auto-pilot. The script, as the whole film, is mostly boring, with no fun ideas except one scene where (the) robocroc picks a helicopter out of the air, which I have seen done better before (and first) in Mega Shark versus Giant Octopus, and even lacking the energy to get up to the usual SyFy "estranged family gets back together" shenanigans.

If you're hoping for any kind of imaginative flourishes, jokes funny or unfunny, or even the smallest sign of life behind the camera, Robocroc will disappoint you, or rather, will lifelessly look at you and perfunctorily mumble "boo", or at most try to distract you with the least interesting romance I have seen in a SyFy movie (which actually might be an achievement, now that I think about it).

If I sound bored and a bit disappointed by Robocroc's lack of visible effort, that's exactly what I am.

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