Monday, March 12, 2012

Review—Shark Night

There are a lot of shark movies out there. Shark Night is one of them.

There are plenty of better shark movies. Open Water, The Reef, Deep Blue Sea... And of course Jaws. And Jaws II. There are even better 3D shark movies. Like Jaws 3D.

Yes. Jaws 3D is better than Shark Night. The movie's special effects, acting, writing, plot, and direction all pale in comparison to Jaws 3D. Which actually had a pretty fun reveal halfway through the movie that was quite nifty, despite the fact that, by virtue of being a second sequel to one of the best movies ever made, the movie was doomed from the start to be bad.

Shark Night has no excuse. It wants to be Jaws, but can't. Then it wants to be Hostel, but it can't. Then it tries to be Deliverance but fails. And finally it makes a desperate lunge to be Hillbilly Hand Fishing. It comes close, but doesn't quite reach the pathos of that worthy competitor.

Still. It's better than Jaws IV. And for that, I thank Shark Night.
Arguably the best scene in the movie.

Shark Night is...

  • ... very generously rated a 3.9 over on IMDB.
  • ... has at least 2 scenes where the music seems to just say, "I give up!" and starts sounding like the theme to Jaws.
  • ... very, very mistaken in the idea that fast-motion adds anything to a movie except for comedy. Especially when it's a goofy looking guy swimming in the water.
  •  ... "borrows" far more from Jaws 3D than the desperate attempt to win attention by being "3D." We've got water-skiers in peril, exploding sharks, a reveal that there's more than just one shark involved, and sharks that growl. Well... I guess, TECHNICALLY, they "borrowed" the growling shark from Jaws IV.
  • ... doesn't seem to realize that having a hillbilly character with filed, sharklike teeth, isn't a giveaway that the character of that hillbilly might indeed be one of the bad guys.
  • ... not only doesn't understand shark behavior (just because a fish is called a shark doesn't mean it's a ravenous man-eater), but also doesn't understand how the human body works (a dude who gets his arm bit off is probably not strong enough to go solo against a 10 foot long hammerhead shark while wielding a spear in his remaining hand probably would be eaten... he certainly wouldn't be likely to emerge victorious from the battle).
  • ... is not only so sure of its self that it's not afraid to embrace the cliche of having the black guy being the first one to get munched... but isn't afraid to have him being the one who fights the shark one-armed with a spear. Am I being too sensitive on the implied racisim? Nah... the movie's bad on many levels! NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • ... well, one exception. The shark jumping out of the water to eat the dude off the jet-ski was pretty cool. I guess. And there were bikinis too. Those two elements kept the movie from getting an F, so I suppose they did their jobs.
Grade: D –

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