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the best thing about , " lake placid " is that it's only 80 minutes long and when it's over you're glad that you didn't waste more than an hour and a half of your time . it's nothing more than a bad rip-off of , " jaws " ( and i think that's being kind . ) it was written by david e . kelly ( " ally mcbeal " ) as a horror-comedy but fails at both , miserably . i was never scared and i think that i only laughed once . the crocodile even fails in comparison to the snake in , " anaconda . " the plot begins when a man is eaten in half by the giant crocodile in black lake in maine . that brings the local sheriff ( brendan gleeson ) and a fish-and-game warden ( bill pulman ) to investigate . also , a paleontologist ( bridget fonda ) from new york is sent to look at a tooth and an eccentric millionaire/crocodile lover ( oliver platt ) flies in because he wants to swim beside the beast . soon there is tension between everybody because half the people want to kill the croc and the other half want to save it . there's also an eccentric old lady ( betty white ) who lives by the lake and has a few secrets . as i mentioned before kelley and director steve minor ( h20 ) don't go for a serious approach towards the material but they also don't have anything sly or satirical or witty to say either . the betty white character is completely unfunny and none of the other characters are really that interesting , they're all basically idiots . if they had any brains the croc wouldn't have been that much of a challenge to catch and they wouldn't have put themselves in half of the situations that they did . but then again , if they were smart there wouldn't be a movie . basically , " lake placid " is best undiscovered .