Lyle Lyle Crocodile – REVIEW

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The discovery of a singing crocodile should be a sure fire hit for any impresario and Hector P Valenti (Javier Bardem) a two bit singing magician sees Lyle as his key to stardom and untold riches on a talent show akin to Britain’s got Talent. Yet like every winner of that show once they’re out of contract they’re reduced to eating out of trash cans. It’s the fate of Lyle whose stage fright robs him of his ability to sing in front of an audience and Valenti, having bet the house on Lyle consequently loses it in a contractual agreement and leaves Lyle hidden out of sight in the loft. So its something of an unexpected surprise when Mr & Mrs Primm (Scoot McNairy & Constance Wu) buy and move in to the house with their son Josh (Winslow Fegley).

Now it’s at this point we ourselves began thinking of moving to New York to buy a stylish multi story Brownhouse as it appears easily within the financial reach of a failed magician and in the case of Mr Primm, an ineffectual maths teacher even if there is a crocodile in the attic infinitely preferable to finding our Editor’s back catalogue of dog eared copies Health & Efficiency though  (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed) . But it’s a lonely Josh finding it hard to make friends in his new school that befriends Lyle Lyle Crocodile in a manner not dissimilar to the documentary ‘Ming of Harlem’  the true story of a tiger living in a pokey New York flat and both seem to carouse through the city without turning any heads and it’s the villainous, litigious neighbour living in the basement flat of the Brownstone house that, rather than welcoming to the neighbourhood, instead looks for any excuse to have the family thrown out and the thumping & bumping as  Lyle & Josh and eventually his parents sing and dance around the house.

Lyle Lyle Crocodile - Javier Bardem & a crocodile devour the big screen!

Lyle Lyle Crocodile has the expected impressively rendered crocodile though the creature never speaks only sings (pop star Shawn Mendes provides the vocals) and the film relies heavily on his visual appeal. The real star of the film though is Javier Bardem as the magician keen to monetize his prodigy if only the creature could overcome his stage fright. Looking like X-Factors long forgotten novelty act Wagner  he hogs the screen in joyous fashion in the sort of singing and dancing role not readily equated with him and is a bigger character than Lyle. Ably keeping up with Bardem is Brett Gelman as the nosey neighbour Mr Grumps perhaps best known for his turn in TV series ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Fleabag’ and plays it in impressive pantomime boo-hiss style alongside his CGI cat whose none too keen on him either.

Directed by Josh Gordon & Will Speck whose previous has included the far different and far more adult orientated Office Christmas Party and this is a very different entity though the opening of the film has a enjoyable pastiche of the single-shot-through-the-kitchen seen in Goodfellas and is one for the eagle eyed film fans. A flabby disjointed second act slows things down but this is a warm good natured comedy for kids

Watch the Lyle Lyle Crocodile trailer HERE

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