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Million Dollar Crocodile
Million Dollar Crocodile

Guo Tao protects Barbie Hsu and Ding Jiali in Million Dollar Crocodile.
Chinese: 百萬巨鳄  
Year: 2012
Director: Lin Lisheng
Producer: Li Rui
Writer: Lin Lisheng, Ma Hua, Ma Yu

Guo Tao, Barbie Hsu, Lam Suet, Shi Zhaoqi, Ding Jiali, Xiong Xin-Xin, Purba Rgyal, Fang Qingzhuo, Wang Jinsong, Li Qinqin, Hou Chuanguo, Ren Long, Che Jin, Huang Yonggang, Guo Chao, Li Yong, Chen Xu

The Skinny: Craptastic! Director Lin Lisheng's gloriously dumb monster movie earns points for its knowing self-deprecation and good-natured sense of humor. Not a classic but Million Dollar Crocodile is good for the giggles. Featuring a hilariously annoying Barbie Hsu.
by Kozo:

Cheapo creature features live with the forgivably bad Million Dollar Crocodile, a knowing B-movie starring a CGI crocodile and lots of actors whoíve done better work. Guo Tao leads this Pan-China cast as Useless Wang, an underdog cop who saves the city, earns the respect of his son and gets the girl when he goes Steve Irwin on a rampaging monster crocodile. Well, maybe thatís how a hyperbolic plot description used on international sales flyers would describe the film. In actuality, Million Dollar Crocodile is a low-tension monster movie thatís more funny than frightening, and readily serves its function as amusing, throwaway crap for undemanding audiences. Director and co-writer Lin Lisheng seems well aware of the type of commercial cinema heís making, and has the smarts to let the audience in on the joke from time to time. Million Dollar Crocodile isnít a standout film but itís better than its craptastic genre trappings would suggest.

The film gets its title from a rampaging crocodile that swallows a designer bag containing roughly one million RMB in Euros. A refugee from a closing crocodile zoo, the 8 meter-long Mao is sold illegally to a restaurant owned by Zhao (Lam Suet), but she manages to escape in bloody fashion before becoming the daily special. While stomping across the countryside, Mao swallows aforementioned designer bag, which prompts the bagís owner, Wen Yan (Barbie Hsu), to run around hysterically screaming ďMy Euros!Ē Useless Wang responds, calling in Bald Liu (Shi Zhaoqi), Maoís former master and maybe the only person who can tame Mao before she starts eating people who donít deserve it, namely Uselessís son Xiaoxing (Ding Jiali) and also Wen Yan, whoís hot to get her Euros back. Honestly speaking, though, Wen Yen getting eaten would be awesome, especially since Xiaoxing wouldnít be in danger if Wen Yan didnít insist on dragging him everywhere to find her Euros.

Not surprisingly, gore and action are mild. CGI effects are predictably below Hollywood level but are good considering obvious budget limitations. In a minor deviation from genre, Mao is depicted as a sympathetic creature and not a rabid beast. The latter description better fits Barbie Hsu; her Wen Yan is annoying and shrill, and the film even acknowledges that by giving her a hilarious bass-thumping theme whenever she shows up. Otherwise, the acting is serviceable if not noteworthy, and Guo Tao makes a likable everyman as the not-as-inept-as-his-name-implies Useless. Satirical, nonsensical asides spice things up, e.g., Zhaoís dopey restaurant crew, which includes a guy who dresses up as Superman (complete with spit curl) and wears a chef hat even when hunting crocs. Thereís also a message if the viewer desperately needs one: If you donít want to die, donít bother the crocodile. Oh, and use a bank instead of a designer bag to store your one million RMB. (Kozo, 2/2013)

Availability: DVD (China)
Region 6 PAL
Hualu Electronics & Audio-Visual Publishing Co.
Mandarin Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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