So, as AndyErupts resident animal lover, I was tasked with the job of reviewing Shark Night 3D, which is absolutely perfect for me as Andy knows how much I love shark movies and sharks in general. I find them to be fascinating creatures unlike JohnMilton who quivers with fear at the mere mention of them. So off I went to the cinema armed with my 3D glasses…
As it turns out, sitting through Shark Night 3D was more of a chore than a job.
Now the synopsis of the movie on the official website states:
Arriving by boat at her families Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara and her friends quickly strip down to their swim suits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik stumbles from the salt water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the accident comes from a freak wake boarding accident the group realises they have to get Malik to the hospital on the other side of the lake and fast.
But as they set out in a tiny speed boat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive flesh eating sharks. As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land!
So let’s start there. Hundreds of flesh eating sharks? Whoa whoa whoa!! A slight exaggeration, methinks. I could count on both hands the number of sharks we see in this movie!!!
As a general rule, movies that don’t screen in advance for the press, generally choose not to for a reason. The reason being that the producers are aware that they have a stinker on their hands and dread the bad reviews. Shark Night 3D is such a film. Sadly, for the producers, no press screening will not prevent bad reviews.
Director David R. Ellis has had some mild success in the past with the hugely silly but enjoyable Snakes On A Plane and Final Destination 2. Ellis is also responsible for bringing us 2009′s woeful The Final Destination and now, it’s this.
The film does contain a cast of recognisable faces, however here, in THIS film, few are worthy of a second mention. Faces like Sara Paxton (Last House On The Left 2009), Dustin Milligan (Slither) Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project) and Joel David Moore (Hatchet, Avatar) grimace their way through this guff and all look a little bit embarrassed. Moore’s trademark bumbling awkwardness has never been more realistic.
Seeming more like a straight, if slightly ineffectual, comedy than even Snakes On A Plane was (that film appearing like Citizen Kane by comparison) Shark Night 3D mostly fails by using the same basic framework of “Snakes” in that a bad guy fills an area with a loads of dangerous creatures for his own gain, thus colouring the proceedings a little too familiar.
That’s not to say that it’s all bad. It’s a daft film about sharks and Ellis knows it. His work has always been fun. It’s a tongue-in-cheek affair that has bags of unrealised potential.
My biggest issue is with CGI. Granted, it’s not exactly easy to get actors to interact with real sharks so CGI and animatronics are about the only way to do it. However, it’s far too reliant on the computer generated fish, which only serves to make the whole thing look even sillier.
Also, having next to no gore in a shark film is a crazy waste. I’ve seen more violent footage of sharks on National Geographic and the kills? Too much footage of the actors struggling in the water and not enough of seeing the sharks getting bitey and tearing into supple, young limbs. Somewhere between the carnage witnessed in Jaws and Piranha 3D would have been nice.
I’ve seen a lot of shark movies and this one won’t ever top my favourites list. It’s also not going to be at the bottom. Shark Night 3D is absolutely mindless and kind of unremarkable. Fans of David R. Ellis’ previous work probably won’t be disappointed. It’s a funny but flawed film that…just…exists. Nothing more.