Shawn Mendes stars in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.
There haven’t been any new theatrical offerings for parents to take their kids to in a couple of months, but luckily, ‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’ hits theaters this weekend. It offers a perfect escape for parents who want to get their kids out of the house for a few hours. Now is ‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’ any good? Not really, but that likely won’t make much difference for the little ones.
Singer Shawn Mendes voices Lyle. He is an anthropomorphic singing crocodile who resides in the attic of the Primm family’s new Manhattan home. Each family member is struggling in their own way, whether it’s Mr. Primm (Scoot McNairy) grappling with his new job, Mrs. Primm’s (Constance Wu) lack of artistic creativity, or Josh Primm (Winslow Fegley) having issues with confidence and social skills at his new school. Lyle has problems of his own, like his paralyzing stage fright that counters his singing prowess. So naturally, Lyle can help bring the family together with newfound hope, along with the help of his owner, Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem).
A keynote about Lyle is that he doesn’t speak; he only sings.
Mendes is given an easier task than other singers-turned-actors since he doesn’t have to give a proper voice performance in the acting sense. Mendes has a great voice, so he’s completely fine as Lyle, although the song choice in the film isn’t overly inspired. However, this is unfortunate because the film is at its best when Lyle is singing and entertaining the Primm family and audience. There could have been authentic fun here if the film had been a proper jukebox musical. Unfortunately, aside from a few song numbers in the first half, the musical numbers become fewer and farther between as the film continues.
Javier Bardem steals the show in any scene he appears in.
Bardem is not just phoning in a performance. He goes all out in a family-friendly display that shows he knows exactly what type of movie this is. Stranger Things fans will be happy to see Brett Gelman as the perpetually angry and appropriately-named Mr. Grumps, the downstairs neighbor of the Primms. But despite the showmanship of some of these performers, it’s barely enough to hold together the loose plot of the film, which hardly makes sense at times.
‘Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile,’ directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon, is far from perfect entertainment. The plot barely hangs together, and the lack of more musical numbers leaves you wanting more. However, kids will love Lyle, and parents will at least have fun with the performances. Do you Vouch for it? Read more Reviews on Nerdtropolis and Subscribe to our YouTube.