Yeah, more shark movies from Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray, this one called simply Shark Week (like Discovery Channel’s popular series, because marketing), a title that cuts to the core but doesn’t really tell you what exactly you’re about to see (besides the fact it’s like 3 days, not a week, but i’m just being pedantic).
It’s basically a mixture of Saw and a shark movie, or the Asylum version of that.
Since the Saw series took some rest after Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, guess now it’s the time to rip it off, and yeah, it’s definitely ripping off Saw, not the Dr. Phibes series, since the analogies with the latter don’t stick, and most movie goers back in 2012 knew of Saw, not of the series that heavily inspired James Wan series.
After his son’s untimely death, the wealthy and sadistic criminal known as “Tiburon” (of course) kidnaps eight apparently unrelated people, brings them to an isolated island he owns, and makes them go through increasingly deadly challenges involving incrensingly dangerous sharks, not really too interested in making them survive, clearly more of a late series Jigsaw. Down to his wife being way more keen on reaping revenge, while Tiburon does want to give them a chance to win.
And… it’s surprisingly decent. There are issues, but most of them were to be expected from an Asylum production, especially budget constraints, so keep in mind that there are none of the elaborated trials with various twisted machinery and perverse solutions to torture happy scenarios, nor much in the way gore, mostly digital and not excessive in any way, nor a lavish presentation or complexity to the villain, which isn’t even masked.
That said, the script is definitely better written than most movies of this kind, with characters that actually have a decent amount of brain cells, use them to improvise tools to fight the sharks and don’t randomly bitch and antagonize each other for contrived conflict, they mostly cooperate because they understand it’s the only way to survive. And they’re kinda likable, as in they aren’t annoying and some are almost virtuos, didn’t expect that at all. The cast (with mostly unknown actors, outside Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler) is alright, with overall mediocre acting on offer.
The shark are all CG, mediocre tier CG, and overall presentation isn’t great, a bit cheapish, but – again – it’s about what you might expect from a mid-tier Asylum production (alongside some minor errors, like chains that aren’t too tightly roped on the arms in some frames, or using the Wilhelm scream in a serious manner).
But the movie does manage to work within the budget limitations fairly well, my main gripe is that Shark Week doesn’t fully take advantage of the “shark movie X Saw” mish mash it cooks up. Stupid, but potentially even more entertaining.
For example, it could have done the final twist and use the first scene as an indirect clue to the resolution, but no, the opening scene is just Mr. Tiburon killing off a random criminal by tying it with iron chains and dropping him into a pool filled with baby sharks. That’s it. Same for the kinda anticlimactic finale. And it’s hard to say if it’s due to the screenwriters sense of pride or the producer (good ol’ Michael David Latt) wanting to avoid any potential litigious claim by Lionsgate.
Maybe both, but this potential caution seems odd and kinda arbitrary, since it comes from the production company well known for its mockbusters and overall legendary lack of shame (though sadly Full Moon Pictures is beating them at this in recent months) that makes movie called “Sinister Squad” (which is only one installment in their Avengers knock-off series) or Titanic II reality, insteaf of the skits and throwaway jokes on a weekly comedy show they should be.
Decent and fast moving shark flick, worth a watch for sure!