The Wisdom of Crocodiles Review

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Unlike Channel 4's recent TV slant on the vampire subgenre, Ultraviolet, which knew its place as high gloss, gogglebox schlock, Chih Leong's urban-neck chomper mist bear the two-fold burden of being a small screen production in outsized celluloid clothes an its own arty pretensions. That the film could double as style shoot for some ludicrously expensive glossy mag (Transylvanian chic meets trendy North London des res) is surely proof enough.

Law is Steven Gricz, a single, eligible vampire who needs a woman's love and blood to survive. after his latest victim joins the long line of those donating both, he move on to the exotic jugular of Anne Levels(Löwensohn), an unlikely structural engineer. Happy giving him her heart, she's understandably less cheery about him draining it when he feels a little peaky. While this hokum unspools, cardboard cut-out coppers Detective Gough (Jack Davenport, the aggressive one) and Inspector Healey (Spall, the thoughtful one) are hot on Griscz's murderous trail.

If one did not know Law's ample talent better, on the basis of this atypically anaemic turn, you'd be inclined to say he couldn't act his way out of a paper coffin as he grapples gamely with lines that fancy themselves as deep but are mostly risible. The world's least scary subway gang, a DIY tracheotomy, and pop promo portentousness only add to the inadvertent comedy.

This is not to say there aren't atmospheric moments, flashes of visual eloquence or good ideas simmering away on the backburner - Law's gradual physical decay as a potent metaphor for AIDS, for example - but with the art department working overtime in am attempt to lend the film some texture and compensate for the script's inadequacies, any subtlety is lost in the broader superficiality of a work which fails to engage on an emotional level.