Lizard Lowdown: Unveiling the Scale Secrets - IGN Aussie Editionlizard,scalesecrets,IGN,Aussieedition
Lizard Lowdown: Unveiling the Scale Secrets - IGN Aussie Edition

Lizard Lowdown: Unveiling the Scale Secrets – IGN Aussie Edition

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Reptile: A Murky Thriller That Fails to Impress

A Plodding Murder Mystery

In the world of thrillers, mood is often a crucial factor in building suspense and intrigue. Unfortunately, the Netflix film Reptile, directed by Grant Singer and starring Benicio del Toro, drowns in its own atmosphere. The film sustains a single note of hushed unease throughout its nearly two-and-a-half-hour runtime, with every scene exuding a vague sense of dread. This one-dimensional approach quickly becomes tiresome and loses its effectiveness.

Engaging Start, Uncertain Execution

The film starts with a seductively sinister pull, drawing viewers into the seemingly idyllic life of two young real estate agents, Summer Elswick (Matilda Lutz) and Will Grady (Justin Timberlake). However, this promising beginning gives way to a plodding murder mystery, as seasoned detective Tom “Oklahoma” Nichols (Benicio del Toro) slowly investigates the case. The pool of suspects is filled with plausible psychos, including the boyfriend and an ex-husband with a sinister appearance. The film introduces several potential red herrings, but fails to offer enough genuine intrigue.

A Stylized Homage to David Fincher

Director Grant Singer, known for his work in music videos, clearly takes inspiration from the stylized procedural style of David Fincher. However, Reptile falls short in effectively emulating the intricate plots and meticulous storytelling of films like Zodiac or Gone Girl. Singer’s focus on surface effects and imagery overshadow the film’s ability to tell a compelling story. The low lighting, seedy atmosphere, and quick editing reminiscent of Fincher’s works ultimately feel like a watered-down imitation.

Lacking Gillian Flynn’s Touch

While Reptile aims to be a gritty detective thriller, it lacks the density of clues, complications, and engaging lead-chasing that Gillian Flynn’s novels, such as Gone Girl, bring to the genre. Singer’s screenplay stretches out the ho-hum mystery, losing its appeal as the detective inches closer to solving the case. The eventual revelation that cracks the whole case feels contrived and undermines the build-up of suspense. The film’s attempts to explore the personal and professional life of the detective and his wife, played by Alicia Silverstone, don’t add depth or substance to the story, but rather contribute to the general gloom.

Strong Performances in a Lackluster Film

Despite its shortcomings, Reptile does have some redeeming qualities. Cinematographer Mike Gioulakis, known for his work on films by Jordan Peele, David Robert Mitchell, and M. Night Shyamalan, delivers polished imagery that captures the menace lurking in the cracks of suburban life. However, it is Benicio del Toro’s understated performance as Detective Tom “Oklahoma” Nichols that truly stands out. Del Toro’s quiet intensity and carefully subdued delivery add an element of intrigue that the film itself fails to provide. He keeps us engaged, even when the plot becomes monotonous.

The Verdict: Missed Opportunities

Reptile’s attempt at a moody and atmospheric thriller falls short of its goals. Despite its promising start and strong performances, the film struggles to maintain genuine intrigue and relies too heavily on its ominous atmosphere. Director Grant Singer’s attempt to emulate the style of David Fincher results in a watered-down imitation, lacking the complexity and depth that made Fincher’s films so compelling. Fans of Benicio del Toro may find his performance noteworthy, but overall, Reptile is a forgettable addition to the genre. It’s best to wait for a more engaging thriller like The Killer instead.


Lizard Lowdown: Unveiling the Scale Secrets - IGN Aussie Edition
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Patterson Fiona

Hello, Australia! Fiona Patterson here. I'm your go-to gal for all things politics. I've been on the beat for more than a decade, so when it comes to the ins and outs of Canberra, I'm fair dinkum. Let's rip into it and cut through the jargon together.

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