As we extensively estabilished before, when it comes to shark movies The Asylum doesn’t even bother anymore to wait for a mainstream blockbuster release to mooch off… which i can’t really blame on them as those almost completely went extinct, with almost exclusively low to no budgets shark movies flooding the market every year.
And as usual, this is one of those they just kinda put out with no fanfare, to the point i knew this existed only because i happened to stumble upon its UK DVD release while browsing randomly on Amazon one late night.
I mean, more important stuff happened in 2020, but still, put 5 bucks into marketing!
The other surprise is that it seemed already familiar, just by reading the synopsis on the back of the box, talking about sharks, army people on sea and warships… didn’t The Asylum already did this fuckin movie not too long ago? Obviously this is a rethorical question, they did in 2018, simply called it Megalodon just for confusion’s sake.
But in a surprising twist of logic, it’s actually a sequel to that movie, and they don’t wait for the ending to reveal this, they establish early that incident with the submarine from that other movie did happen, there’s Commander Lynch, the sister of Captain Lynch from the other movie, and characters do refer to events of the first film.
Still, it’s pretty similar, as in, it’s a bit too similar, it’s also shot on the same tourist warship boat, they basically swapped out the Russians for the Chinese, and the guest star actor this time it’s not Michael Madsen, but Tom Sizemore (which could also be seen slumming in 2018’s mockbuster Nazi Overlord).
There’s barely a submarine but we got 2 more megalodons to make up for it.
The plot concerns a chinese ship sent to perform satellite sabotage, they succeed but the ship is attacked by megalodons (attracted by the sounds), and only the scientist Dr. Lee manages to escape, until she recovered by the warship USS King, under the comand of Captain Lynch.
A chinese destroyer turns up demanding the USS King to hand over Dr. Lee and evacuate the water, otherwise they will consider it an act of war, leading to an armed standoff between the two warships, until megalodons show up attacking both the chinese and american ships.
Look, maybe it’s because i’ve seen too many of these and way worse movies overall, but i don’t hate it as much as the rest of the internet does, even though i will fully agree that this feels like an old fashioned Asylum movie, as in a stepback in terms of pacing, things move very slow so it becomes easier than ever to see how stupid many plot points are.
And yes, indeed, way too much time its spent on the political tensions, and on the second-in-command complicating things because someone has to (you’d think he would end up doing something crazy or interesting… he doesn’t), then we have the fact that the movie trying to take a more serious approach doesn’t come off as immediatly boring… is undermined by how ludicrous and nonsensical are many events central to the plot.
And that somehow Asylum writers still think sharks have swim bladders, come on, we learned that they don’t back in 1975, with the first Jaws!
I don’t want nor expect accurate tassonomy in Asylum flicks, nobody does, but come on, this is basic shark knowledge.
Speaking of which, the CG for the megalodons it’s subpar for the course, slightly worse than their usual kind of “acceptable low budget monster CG”, and i’m not excusing it anymore, since a lot of stuff that could been fun to watch (and require FX work) just happens off-screen.
Mind you, many of these flaws are par for the course for most Asylum movies, but the better ones seem to at least understand that you’d better throw all this nonsense at the viewer fast, because otherwise you give the audience plenty of time to notice or dwell on how absurd this shit is.
Yet, frankly i didn’t hate this one, i seen worse acting, i’ve endured so many stupider plots i don’t even get fazed by this level of dumb nonsense (like the idea of an entire chinese warships armada somehow getting through the Pacific Ocean unnoticed by anyone), i’ve seen worse attempts at this kind of direction, at least i can feel some effort in this regard, and it didn’t felt overly long.
For what it is (and it’s mostly crap), i kinda enjoyed it, to be candid, way more than i would have expected, so take that as a glowing review if you will, even if maybe it’s just me having a Dr. Manhattan-esque moment, having delved into this trash pit for so long.
Still, you can easily don’t bother, there’s nothing in Megalodon Rising that stands out in any way, even if you simply like to rummage through these in search of memorable or notable moments.