Malibu Shark Attack
August 19, 2012
Malibu Shark Attack
According to Marian Call it is Shark Week again (just try getting that song out of your head!) Even though we’re not doing our movie a day project any more we couldn’t let this special week go by without watching a cheesy shark movie. It’s an annual tradition.
Today’s movie is one we actually wanted to watch last year, but it wasn’t out yet on DVD at the time. Amanda had tuned through part of it one morning and called out to me from the living room. “Andy! You’ve got to see this fake CGI wave!” It quickly became apparent as she watched that this movie was an almost perfect amalgam of all the shark movie tropes we’ve come to love after all the awful movies we’ve watched.
Paper-thin two dimensional characters that nobody cares about? Check. Badly computer animated pre-historic sharks released by a natural disaster? Oh, yeah. Sections of the score and even some of the action blatantly ripping off (or paying “homage” to) parts of Jaws? You’d better believe it. In fact I don’t think there’s an original moment in this entire movie – which is why it made such perfect viewing tonight.
Our shark attack victims are the workers at a lifeguard station on a beach in Malibu. There’s the hunky young guy (who look like Casper Van Dien and Neil Patrick Harris had a baby and sounds like he struggling not to let his Australian accent creep through.) There’s an annoying and prone to hysterical screaming teenaged girl who is doing community service cleaning the beach. There’s the ruggedly handsome ex-Navy Seal, his ex-girlfriend with the gravelly voice, and her new ruggedly handsome beau who is doing an overhaul on some beachfront property. There’s the gruff foreman in charge of the home update team. There’s the Science-minded lifeguard who is working on her doctorate (in marine biology of course) and her brand new fiance. And a few other pieces of shark-food who hardly even have names much less characters.
During the opening credits we are treated to a computer animated underwater volcano (which puzzled me greatly because you wouldn’t think it would be hard to license some stock footage) and inter-cut with all the establishing our characters stuff is a series of shots that imply some sharks are going to attack. Oh, and a whole lot of young women in bikinis. (Apparently this all takes place in a Logan’s Run style dystopia where nobody is allowed to live past thirty years old, and for some reason most of the male population of the planet has been wiped out because there are probably five women on this beach to every man.)
The character establishing stuff drags on a little too long – especially given how little there really is to establish – but soon enough we get to the actual movie as a couple divers and a para-sailer are gruesomely killed by the dreadfully animated sharks. Soon the poorly animated sharks are joined by a hilariously poorly animated tidal wave and our gathering of survivors are stranded in their life-guard shack and half-renovated home with water all around and no hope of rescue. Then it’s just a matter of waiting to see who gets eaten first and how many poor souls make it through the night alive.
This movie is embarrassingly awful. By the end I was feeling bad for the actors trapped in the movie far more than for the characters they were portraying. They give it a really good try, but there’s just not much to work with here – even by made-for-TV disaster movie standards. The sharks (which we are told are fast enough to overtake a jet ski) move slower most of the time than their prey who are hip-deep in water. The animation looks laughable and is frequently recycled.
I will take back, though, my earlier comment about there being nothing original in this movie. I don’t think I have ever seen a movie where people chop up sharks with power tools – that was hilarious and fun to watch. I won’t say this movie was as wonderfully awful as Sharks in Venice – or that it was as fun to watch as Sharktopus – but it is, at least, exactly what we were expecting to see when we put it in. A low budget by-the-numbers shark attack movie. Perfect for Shark Week.