A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 158 – Spring Break Shark Attack

Spring Break Shark Attack – August 5th, 2010

This movie started out exactly as I expected, with a bunch of busty women getting eaten by a shark. But then it went and started building a plot! And there are real actors in this movie! It’s bizarre. Actors, who’ve been in real movies! Playing real characters with personalities and backstories! It’s inexplicable! And I’m using lots of exclamation marks! But seriously, I was told not to expect much from this movie, so I went into it expecting two things: Women in bikinis and sharks, and the inevitable convergence of the two. I wasn’t expecting even the semblance of a plot.

Okay, so, let’s talk about the plot and characters the movie had the nerve to have. College student Danielle, frustrated by her super overprotective father, sneaks off to join some friends in Florida for spring break. You see, her father won’t even let her live in the dorms at the local college he’s forced her to attend and she’s sick of it. Once she gets down there she meets up with two friends and one friend’s boyfriend and his friend, J.T.. The two guys are uber sleazy and thankfully one of them gets eaten pretty quickly. Meanwhile there are some locals, Mary Jones and her son Shane, who have a struggling charter fishing business, and Joel Gately, a club owner. Oh, and then there’s Danielle’s brother, Charlie, who’s a marine biology student. So the partiers are all partying and the locals are all concerned about an artificial reef that’s been put in and there’s a romantic subplot where Danielle’s got a thing for Shane but one of the sleazy guys wants to nail her. Eventually everything comes to a head with an attempted rape and a whole shitload of sharks. Then Danielle, Shane and Charlie end up out on a boat in the middle of the water, surrounded by the sharks.

The truly bizarre thing is, I think the movie tried in a very clumsy way to draw a parallel between the sleazy guy and the sharks and I think it sort of succeeded. I mean, Danielle’s father flat out calls the sort of guys who go down to spring break sharks. And J.T. has this ominous musical theme that follows him around like the reek of AXE. He’s a wannabe date rapist who cruises his way through the parties in the movie, sniffing for naivete. Meanwhile, the sharks in the water are grabbing girls too drunk to scream for help. Yeah, like I said, clumsy, but I’m pretty damn sure it was intentional. And that’s a hell of a lot more than the title implies you’ll be seeing.

I will give Danielle (and the propmaster) some credit for reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the beach. Now that’s a spring break plan I can get behind. She and Shane both end up flirting in a bookstore at one point while Danielle hides from the super loud club her friends and J.T. have dragged her to. I am not joking when I say that if I had ever gone to any beach party spring break sort of thing I’d have ended up ensconced in a bookstore, avoiding the sun and the booze. She’s a smart enough girl who’s rebelling a little, but not too much. It’s actually a plot point that she doesn’t drink.

Another thing I’m giving the movie some credit for is that it’s not nearly as over-the-top as I thought it would be. While there are some obligatory shark attack shots and fountains of bloody seawater, the sharks themselves are average size tiger sharks, lured into the area with chum. That’s really somewhat tame. And then they go and solve everything with science! And I’m not talking neon lights and beakers full of food coloring this time. I’m talking about Danielle’s brother’s big experimental electric shark repelling devices. Here I was expecting string bikinis and screaming and while there is a fair amount of that, I also got science and dramatic tension. Weird.

We’d sort of been putting this one off, I think. In part because Sharks in Venice, Megalodon and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus seemed like such promising vaguely sci-fi flavored cheese, whereas this seemed more pedestrian. Take MTV the whole month of March and toss in sharks, right? And in part because we decided to get it based off a review I found online that totally panned it, saying it was this horrible and unwatchable piece of trash and would make more sense viewed backwards. But I’ve got to say, I actually enjoyed it. I liked Danielle. I liked Shane. I cheered when certain other characters met their grisly ends. Sure, we figured out what was going on with the sharks almost immediately, and it’s not like this is winning any cinematography or screenwriting awards. And maybe I’m biased after our last three movies, but I found this genuinely fun to watch, both for the cheesy shark attack scenes and for the better-than-expected plot, characters and acting. Baffling, but there you have it.


August 5, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: