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Lake Placid Reviews

Ever wondered how Ally McBeal would handle being sent off to the buggy woods around an isolated Maine lake in search of a giant, man-eating beast? Well wonder no more: NYC paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) is Ally in all but name, and that's precisely the situation in which she finds herself. Something has bitten a Fish and Game warden in half, more or less before the eyes of no-nonsense sheriff Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson). Fellow warden Jack Wells (Bill Pullman) is sent to investigate, as is Scott, an expert in reptile fossils who's asked to look at an unusual tooth found on the body. It looks like a crocodile tooth, she declares, but it's awfully big and anyway, what would a giant crocodile be doing in a lake in cold, cold Maine? They're quickly joined by wealthy eccentric Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt), whose hobby is swimming with crocodiles. With the colorful crew in place, the search is on for the big croc, in between quirky banter and nicely paced shocks. Written by McBeal creator David E. Kelley, this comic thriller owes a substantial debt to TREMORS, in which a similarly off-center bunch find themselves up against a nest of gigantic killer worms. TREMORS is a wittier, less predictable picture, but this one is smoothly enjoyable, undemanding entertainment and features a couple of knock-out giant croc attacks.