01 January 2010


I've been looking forward to Shark Attack 3: Megalodon because it has a) John Barrowman (Captain Jack from Doctor Who and Torchwood); b) giant, prehistoric sharks; c) bad special effects; and d) no chance of being good at all. I couldn't wait to see it.

So, what is the "plot" you ask? Silly reader. From what I could gather from the poorly enunciated exposition, some evil multinational telecommunications company is laying down a fibre optic cable in the ocean, connecting North, Central and South America with Australia and some Pacific rim countries. The electromagnetic field is like Megalodon-nip and draws a scampy little Megalodon baby from his nursery grounds in The Deep Ocean. This cable is presumably the biggest and baddest cable to have ever been laid in the Pacific, because none of the other millions of miles of cables have had the power to draw the Megalodons from The Deep, where they have been living unseen through the entirely of human existence. (Don't get me wrong, I know there are countless species we've never even seen because they live in the deep ocean trenches, but, if I remember correctly from my Deep Sea Biology course, the biomass in the deep ocean is relatively small. The deep ocean is not that productive and I really don't think that a Megalodon (let alone a school of Megalodons) could have survived billions of years on dumbo octopi and ctenophores without occasionally venturing into the coast for a seal or two.)

Anywho, the super bad ass communications cable attracts this "baby" Megalodon (clearly, whatever high school biology student they hired as scientific consultant on this movie, knew very little about shark biology and reproduction). Then, inexplicably, the Megalodon develops a taste for human flash and starts terrorizing a resort in "Mexico." Enter the resort's beach patrol, roguish Captain Jack and some other guy. They find a Megalodon tooth one day while diving near the cable to illegally harvest lobster. Jack posts a photo online and asks for help identifying it. Enter the young and pretty paleontologist who recognizes what it is and flies to Mexico with camera crew in tow to document the find. She tell Jack she's a marine biologist and he takes her to where he found the tooth. They tag the baby. Some more people die. Really, this whole part is boring. Jack is pretty offended when he finds out the chick isn't a marine biologist. Go easy on her, Jack. If I was a paleontogist, I'd lie about it too. (Oh! That reminds me of an awesome joke: What's the difference between a paleontologist and a large pizza? A large pizza feeds a family of four. Ha!).

Okay, so the baby shark part of the movie was incredibly lame. The shark was clearly open source footage of random sharks. The size and markings on the dorsal fin changed constantly. The attack scenes were all shaky camera and bloody water with the occasional flash of cardboard-cutout teeth interspersed with footage of sharks eating seal meat and chum. I mean, it was really bad. If you see this movie, just watch the last 30 minutes or so. The rest isn't really worth the time. And, I should say that I saw this after only a couple of drinks, so I don't think that i'm exaggerating it's charms.

Then the baby died, and mommy showed up all pissed off (because we all know how strong the maternal bonds are in fish). That's when the movie got awesome. They obviously blew their entire special effects budget on some film student intern with photoshop, and it shows and it's awesome. Mommy is impossibly huge, able to swallow motor boats whole. In the climactic final scenes, Mommy eats a motor boat, a life raft, a  guy on a jet ski, and some idiot who manages to fall off a yacht into Mommy's mouth.

Two things that really bothered me was the acting, and the poor location choice. Firstly, it's like secondary character in the movie is played by someone who won a contest to be in a movie. Their delivery was halting and had weird pauses "this is the .....world's greatest fiber.......optic cable." A lot of the dialogue looked like it was dubbed in during post-production, at which time they also dubbed in a lot of random laughter, as if the movie would be better if it looked like the characters were having a good time while they hunted sharks and fought for their lives. I became suspicious of the location when the divers in the movies were wearing full wetsuits and gloves while diving in warm, sunny Mexico. Now, I've never been to a resort in Mexico, but I'm fairly certain you can dive in shorties and be comfortable. I'm also fairly certain the visibility is better than the 3-5 meters depicted in the film (Alej, you can correct me if I'm wrong). I'm also fairly certain that most Mexican resorts aren't staffed entirely by people who look to be of Eastern European descent (again, Alej, am I wrong in this assumption?). So, imagine my non-surprise when I watched the credits and most of the cast had surnames ending in "va" "ev" or "ov."

Assholes are always mad.

You're not really a marine biologist are you?

Megalo-who? [after blowing up Mommy Megalodon]


Deb said...

This looks so incredible that I really can't decide if I should see it or not! And that's even after your critique. :-)

Ellie Fish said...

I think it helps to have a vested interest in Captain Jack [John Barrowman] beforehand (maybe you should watch a little Torchwood before tackling Megalodon). It also helps if you don't pay actual money to see it, so try to get it from the library (which has become my sole source of movies. Screw you, Blockbuster!) And don't blame me if you don't like it: really crappy movies are a refined taste.

Anonymous said...

I always love how sharks in these movies just want to kill and eat every human they see. I gotta see this fucking sweet ass movie!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I give you: Shark Night 3D ...

Freshwater sharks! Extra, additional third D's! Theatrical release!