Despite a tone-changing, generic ending in the crocodile's lair, the first 1 1/4 hours is a tension filled time with great suspense augmented with above-average characterization of its bigger-than-usual cast. McLean is a breathtaking visual director and respects his B-movie formula greatly more-often-than not. However, like most nature-amok films, it can't always balance maturity and cheesiness well.
What would seem like just another hokey B-movie is actually a pretty effective survival thriller. The familiar story is rounded out with above-average production values, strong performances, and genuine suspense - although it does stretch credibility toward the end. Despite it's flaws, it is far superior to most other "giant killer predator" movies.