Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shark Night

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Shark Night - 1 out of 5

When this movie was being made, it was clear the filmmakers knew this movie was going to be awful so they decided to utilize the latest craze in the world of theaters to get the butts in the seats...they put it in 3-D.  So, when I first saw the trailer to Shark Night, I expected it to be a dark comedy like Piranha 3-D, so a part of me was kinda excited to see it because I really enjoyed Piranha.  However, the reality that is the movie was anything but fun.

You know your cast is weak when he's one of the most recognizable faces...
and I don't even know his name.

Shark Night is about a group of generic college kids (who I'm not 100% knew if they had names, they are that forgettable) who hit the lake for a weekend of booze and possible promiscuous sex (but don't get your hopes up for the latter, it's PG-13).  However, shock and horror takes the place of sex and alcohol as one of their friends is attack by a giant chinchilla monster--I'm kidding, he's attacked by a shark.  As the kids try to help their injured friend, get help and figure out why there is a shark in the Louisiana Gulf, they find themselves terrorized in a lake that contains several species of sharks, all out for blood.

Going into this film, I wanted a boob and blood fest because, let's face it, Jaws is the only shark film that has ever been able to actually be terrifying.  Going into Shark Night, I didn't want to see a well made horror film because I knew it wasn't going to happen, I just wanted something awful to laugh at but what I got was just lame.  

"Surprise!!!!  Wait, where are you going? It's me Bruce from Finding Nemo.  I'm here for your surprise party..."

Three big reasons hit the surface of the waves like a Great White breaching off the coast of Africa that showcase, in a very obvious and painful way, why this movie doesn't work.  Number One) the generic characters.  I don't remember any of their names because they weren't memorable enough to warrant such an action.  Basically, you had the slut, the girl with a dark past, the nerd (who mysteriously had six-pack abs and as a nerd myself, I have yet to meet a real nerd who has these), the black jock (who, in true horror film fashion, becomes the first victim of a shark attack, stay classy Shark Night), the overly horny nerd (yes, this movie gives you two types of nerds) and you get your typical backwater, squeal like a pig rednecks. Then, as if the actors knew their characters weren't worth the paper their scripts were printed on, they all gave performances that seemed about as convincing as Fox New's claims of being fair and balance.

Yes, because putting thick glasses on a person instantly makes them a nerd.

Aside from the phoned-in acting from the one-dimensional characters (remember, I can't even recall these generic stereotypes' names) the film suffers from one of the worst motives for blood I've ever seen in a film.  The big mystery of the movie is how all these sharks (Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Great Whites and even Hammerheads are there) got into the lake, well, without giving too much away, those involved did it because they wanted to make money because their crappy jobs don't pay enough.  You heard me, they released sharks in the water for the purposes of profit.  The film goes into more depth (no pun intended) but that's the gist of it.  Now, I'm no financial expert but I'm pretty sure the actual investment of getting different breeds of sharks into a salt-water lake, including the elusive Great White which doesn't adapt well to being contained (all attempts have seen the great beast die), would be quite substantial--to the point it would be nearly impossible (no matter what route is taken, including the stupid one the film offers up) to get your return and even breaking even would seem like an unachievable dream.

Eh, that guy will be alright.

Finally, the last reason this movie sucks to the point it's not even fun to make fun of...this movie doesn't know its stuff.  All filmmakers make mistakes and things like physics, science and facts can be smudged for the purposes of suspending disbelief and many times, we go right along with the director on these because some magic within the reels have encapsulated us to forgive these misgivings.  Take Jaws for example:  At the end of the film, the giant shark breaches the surface and lands its upper half on the Orca.  Experts working on the film told Spielberg that this couldn't happen, that a shark this size wouldn't be able to physically do it with the accuracy that is depicted within the film but Steven stated that by this time in the film, people will believe whatever they see on screen.

Spielberg had a point.  There's always a certain amount of forgiveness we offer films when it comes to reality because we understand what we are watching is fiction.  We forgive Twilight for having the nerve to call itself a movie despite the reality it's just crap but we understand movies aren't real.  However, the glaring fact that Shark Night didn't bother to do its research becomes the aspect that makes it nearly impossible to laugh at.  For example, the lake is stated to be a salt-water lake in order to explain why the sharks are surviving but the major problem with this is the fact the lake is filled with lily pads.  Lily pads don't grow in salt-water.

Donal're better than this but drinking ain't going to get you out of Shark Night.

Yes, this shark is harmless to people but this fact
was unknown by the special effects department.
Okay, that may sound nit-picky but it gets worse.  At one point, one of the film's villains is ready to dip a character into a swarm of sharks he refers to as Tiger's the problem though...once we see the shark, the special effects team created a Sand Tiger Shark.  It's an ugly shark but complete harmless to humans.  That's a big oops and if you've ever seen a single week of Shark Week, you would know this fact and your assumption of this film being a phoned-in piece of crap to make money would be realized and set in concrete.  Of course we knew a film with a title like Shark Night was nothing but an excuse to make some cash but once the credits ended and I was greeted with the following video, I'm starting to think the whole process of making Shark Night was all an elaborate excuse to provide this sphincter puckering music video...those with heart conditions and pregnant women shouldn't watch this...

Shark Night had potential to be a ridiculous horror film that could have been funny to watch if it decided to have some balls and didn't waste its time more concerned with the final, and complete unnecessary, music video.  There pretty much was no way, even if the filmmakers took this project seriously, that it could have been an actual unsettling scary movie but if they took it seriously, there's the possibility it could have been bad enough to laugh at.  Finally, if the filmmakers had some guts and went the R-rated route, it would only have improved this film marginally.  The presence of more blood and, I usually don't advocate for gratuitous nudity in films, but some boobies may have distracted the viewer from the crap they were watching.  Yes, this is a case where pointless nudity could have actually save this movie and that's something I've never heard myself say.

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