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Review | Lilo, Lilo, Crocodile – A light and fun film to enjoy with the family

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Of course, the big bet of this curious production, which mixes live-action and CGI, is the crocodile Lilo, who is voiced by Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes, however, what immediately jumps out at you when he springs into action, it’s always great Javier Bardem (‘007 – Operation Skyfall’), having fun on stage.

With a funny broom mustache that rivals Hercule Poirot, protagonist of Agatha Christie stories, the actor essentially takes the production on his back, like a failed and over-the-top performer named Hector Valent, where he laughs, pirouettes and all kinds of physical circus humor.

Plus, this “Lilo, Lilo, Crocodile” is at best an honest movie for what it claims to be – piggybacking on productions like “The Adventures of Paddington.” Based on the illustrated books by Bernard Waber, the feature begins when this Hector finds the baby crocodile Lilo in a pet store in New York, and in a very cute and funny way, the little reptile sings and dances in his cage.

The showman then realizes that Lilo has talent and sees the chance to give musical performances, training the animal with special numbers – performed by Benj Pasek and Justin Pau, creative duo of ‘La La Land: Singing Seasons’ . The crocodile sings with a beautiful, very soft voice, which turns out to be an anti-species behavior, always dreaded. However, what disturbs is precisely the fact that Lilo never speaks during the adventure, even if she enchants with her clumsy tirades.

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But, after all, what is the great challenge or dilemma that this story brings? Simply, the fact that Lilo was terrified of going on stage and performing in public. And when the animal fails, having given up out of fear, Hector, who is heavily in debt, leaves the crocodile home alone and cowardly sets off on a solitary flight at night.

Bardem imprints on it all the moral flaws of his character who, although extravagant and almost clownish in his behavior, denotes an inner drama in his constant search for success. The guy believes that one day luck will come to him. In other words, he is a character capable of entertaining, but also emotionally touching the public.

After this kind of introduction, the Primm family, along with baby Josh (Winslow Fegley), moves into Hector’s old house. Instead, they are surprised to see the crocodile bathing and singing, with Josh’s mother and father horrified. However, as the plot progresses as expected, everyone learns several lessons from Lilo, and Josh forms a strong friendship with the animal. Something going well, until Hector reappears…

A very mundane and somewhat generic story, but one that, in the end, should suit your target audience well. Brett Gelman from “Stranger Things” is also great as the bad neighbor, the mean Mr. Grumps, a follower of boring rules and a hater of children. However, if you expect something different and offbeat, artistically speaking, as happened with ‘Tico e Teco: Defenders of the Law’, you must be disappointed with the title commissioned by Josh Gordon, a filmmaker who still doesn’t have any great work on his resume. Was it just a coincidence?

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