Shark Week (2012)
"7 days, 7 sharks... 1 survivor!"
Taking the spirit of Discovery 's Shark Week into heart, I'd like to spin you a cautionary tale of knowledge about a misunderstood creature: B-movies are a much enthused genre of movies for folks looking for all manner of fun - be it stupid and grotesque, or intellectual and unique - but made on a (normally) less-than stellar budget. Over the years, these films have developed their own set of cliches and styles, which is sometimes emulated by producers who have a bit more money to throw at it than others (such as SyFy channel's notorious strings of original movies), while still retaining the low brow humor and fun often associated with them. Many are even made mockingly of more well known of higher budget films. However, in the existence of all these films, one groups stands aside as hands down the worst movies I have ever seen (seriously, they'd be as bad as Uwe Boll if it wasn't for the fact that I think they try to be bad intentionally) - and thy name is Asylum.
If you are familiar with Asylum (masters of such movies as 2 Headed Shark Attack, Super Cyclone, and pretty much every knock-off of a blockbuster movie), then you shouldn't need to read any further than this foreword. If you don't, then let me elaborate: I am not being as harsh as I may seem to be. Heck, some might even consider this review a bit lenient. Case in point, Asylum has a long history of making terrible "movies" and somehow not going out of business.
Shark Week is a movie about some old-man's vengeance against the people who killed (or helped, or were remotely traced to) his criminal son. His way of getting revenge is simple: Get an Island in international waters, fill it full of booby traps (like ground that turns into a rockfall slip-n-slide) that all make the victims end up having to deal with sharks. Sharks, sharks, sharks, and sharks. Beat a shark? Have a nap, then go and deal with ANOTHER shark. Survived walking through a mine field? Your reward is a SHARK. We aren't talking your run of the mill sharks either, no, these are full on CG sharks (not very well done either) that want to eat every little bit a person they can get their hands on. Follow the victims on their quest to escape (or I guess the old man getting bored while waiting for his sharks to kill everyone over time), and that's the plot.
I'm not even naming actors, because calling someone an actor would imply that they actually had to do some acting over the course of the movie. Just because it's a schlocky B movie does not mean that no acting needs to be present (it just means it doesn't have to be stellar), but this here is an Asylum production so we don't really care about that. It would be kind of like photoshopping Kristen Stewart's facial expression onto the voice of the clear eyes guy. It doesn't help add a sense of urgency or danger to the scene when it looks like they are just reading off the script. It's to be expected of Asylum films, really, but it would have only helped anyone give a hoot about any of these characters if they had more impact then a plastic toy.
Lines are delivered clearly and understandably, which doesn't help the fact that eighty percent of the time they are delivered like it was more of a test run then an actual shoot for the movie. Someone who's so excited about getting revenge, for example, sure does look really bored to be getting what he wants. This is only compounded by many needless quick-cuts (non-comical walking scenes are not made any more interesting when the characters are far away, just to quick cut to close, then quick cut to far away again for 10 minutes). It's like watching a movie that wants to be a montage, but someone said it had to be about sharks instead, and lacking the budget to pay for some good music.
As noted before, sharks are done in CG entirely, and come off looking noticeably so. I'm also still not sure if they were incapable of scaling the sharks throughout the movie, or if in fact every shark they meet (no matter how immense from above water shots) was actually a dwarf shark no bigger than a person's forearm. In scenes where an "actor" tries to stab a shark (or fight with it in general), it very much reminds me of a kid in a pool, beating up the water. As an added insult to the poor title of the movie, the main villain likes to spout random shark "facts" as we go, which although partially feasible at times are usually ruined with a "just to eat tasty humans" for added scariness, cause you know movie sharks live for that succulent human flesh.
Now, I'm a fan of B-movies, I watch them (and bad movies) all the time - as some of you may know already. However, Asylum has a habit of making movies that I just cannot get behind (unless it's because I'm leaving to the other room). For the most part, the only major part I can congratulate them on is they tend to somehow (despite it all) have a knack for finding beautiful locations to shoot (when it's not just some CG nonsense), and this movie is no different. The beaches, the rocky outcropping on the edge of the island by the house, even some of the more swampy/woody areas all look very pleasing to the eye. It's really just a shame then that they usually make every other aspect so bad.
Don't watch it, alright? Just, don't. There are a million bad shark movies out there that you could watch instead, or better yet - if you really want to watch a shark-based movie to celebrate Shark Week (the Discovery Channel one), go watch the Jaws films (or maybe at least the first one). Maybe some day, Asylum will start using practical effects to make things a little less crappy, or at least get people to actually put forth effort in acting.