I thought this would be like if Lynyrd Skynyrd did a cover of Stairway to Heaven. It wouldn’t be as good, but there would be a few things you’d like about it.
This is director Alexander Aja (The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension) doing his cover of Jaws. Unfortunately, there weren’t even a few things to like about it.
It all takes place where Skynyrd is from — Florida. And the premise seems like some B-movie fun. There’s a level 5 hurricane, folks evacuating, houses flooding, and a college swimmer (Kaya Scodelario) drives two hours to save her dad (Barry Pepper). It’s not just the house flooding they have to worry about, but alligators the size of Buicks. I’m not sure why there weren’t any other sized gators, just 20-footers. Oh wait, we did see a few babies hatching out of eggs. My wife thought that reminded her of Jurassic Park. I said, “Honey, this movie borrows from everything — Jaws, Piranha, 47 Meters Down, The Shallows…”
She interrupted my list to say “Okay, I get it.”
Another time my wife leaned over and said, “Why is she so mad?”
I laughed and said, “You mean other than the fact that alligators are trying to eat her, and her childhood home is being destroyed?”
She responded, “Even in the beginning, she just had this attitude that didn’t make sense.”
I think it was just horrible character development. The movie starts with a phone call in the locker room with her sister (Morfydd Clark) and baby nephew, and it’s not the most pleasant conversation. So it’s implied that some family drama is going on.
This movie is so poorly done that even the jump scares were telegraphed. And truth be told, I was more worried about the characters walking around in filthy water and wondering if they’d contract flesh eating bacteria. The alligators seemed the least of their problems.
Perhaps the only bit of fun this movie had (it was devoid of humor) was wondering if the remorseful father was going to get it, or the cute doggie “Sugar” that was always by their side. And someone needs to explain to me how this woman can be attacked three different times by alligators (once in a “death roll”), and still have all her limbs. She didn’t even have a gash big enough that she had to go all Rambo and sew the thing up with a sewing kit she saw floating by.
The motivational speeches by daddy were utterly ridiculous, and these two actors did a horrible job selling the family drama.
The film had a lot of yelling, grunting, and crunching sounds. It occasionally had stupid lines like, “We can beat these pea-brained lizard shi**s!”
This movie didn’t screen for the critics, because the studio assumed we’d all tear this picture apart. But as the unreliable Rotten Tomatoes has shown — you can’t really trust most critics. This garbage is getting 88% (while the movie Yesterday, which was charming fun, is only getting 60%).
Don’t confuse this Crawl, with the movie from 2011 or the one from 2013 (isn’t it odd that even when the studios aren’t remaking or rebooting, they have trouble coming up with original film titles?).
I noticed one critic online said, “This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Uh, yes it did. And that’s one of the many reasons why it sucked. Perhaps if it would’ve been campy fun, it may have worked.
My favorite part of seeing this tonight was the Taco Bell commercial that ran before it started. It was one of their fake trailers for a movie that looked like A Star is Born meets American Idol. A young singer croons about his love for the nacho fries Taco Bell has brought back. As he says to the studio head, “I love singing about Mexican spices.”
1 star, but that’s just for the cute dog; 4 stars for the Taco Bell spot.