The question I most want answered, and I’m sure I could find it if only I could be arsed to look, is: were they bloody serious about this?!
I mean, obviously I get that it’s all very tongue-in-cheek but did that come after the original film became a surprise neo-cult classic? Because they all seem very serious and that, I suppose, is a credit to the cast as actors (maybe not in skill but in effort), you know?
This film is a total train-wreck it’s true but is it fun? Is it entertaining? Read on if you wish to know my view on that. Also, I fancy Ian Ziering and that, my friends, is not something I ever expected to hear myself say. Ever ever.
*Spoilers* if you give a shit!
IMDB Synopsis: When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace.
They don’t beat around the bush here in Shark Land. There’s a tornado whipping across the country, sucking up sharks in its wake and they’re fleeing it as much as they can but that’s easier said than done I guess.
A sail boat in the thick of the storm, containing a crew of nefarious fishermen who are actually catching and cutting off shark fins to sell for shark fin soup (one of the most barbaric things ever) is perfectly placed for the most ironic shark revenge of all time. These men all deserve to die horribly so from the get go you’ll be licking your lips in anticipation of heads rolling and limbs being chomped. You won’t be disappointed at all, my friends.
I have to say here that the ‘head to head’ between the boss seaman *giggle* and his Asian business partner is so camp, with both characters stereotypical as all fuck so we’re off to a good start I think.
Cut to Californiaaaaaaa and Ian ‘90210’ Ziering’s Fin Shepard (LOL) is just a good man trying to make a buck. He owns a bar and looks good on the beach. Like rrrreallllly good guys, time has been kind to the former Steve Sanders. Perhaps not having to stand next to Luke Perry helps?
Ziering has also recently graduated from the Christian Slater Academy for Furrow-browed Actors, presumably with flying colours. Honestly, watch him, they’re both cut from the same cloth. And I for one, am 100 emoji about it.
Fin is the brooding type which makes him irresistible (to me) and you just know there’s more to him than meets the eye. Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough what that is but for now, whilst frolicking in the sea with his mate, Baz Hogan (Simmons), shit kicks off. The sharks are actually racing inland in their droves and this does not bode well for the California beach bunnies romping there.
A decent amount of carnage ensues and yet again, people, when someone starts yelling from the water and looks super distressed, maybe take note? It might just save a leg or two. After the initial attacks, Fin and friends don’t seem too bothered, heading to back to the bar Fin owns on the pier to get on with their lives.
The bar is pretty archaic in nature. Bar wench Nova (Scerbo) works in a bikini and has to physically fight off bar regular George (Heard) more than once when he grabs her arse. I would break his knuckles but she laughs it off. It’s all in good fun, isn’t it, all this cheeky everyday sexism and harmless physical harassment? God bless George.
Nova throws herself at Fin behind the bar during their shift and he callously rejects her before revealing he has a wife. An estranged wife but a wife nonetheless. The aforementioned ball ‘n’ chain is April Wexler (Reid) who hates Fin right now because he’s so damned attractive presumably.
Fin’s worried about the storm and all the flooding going down around them and wants to get April and their daughter Claudia (Aubrey Peebles) the fuck outta Dodge. April however has a new boyfriend and is pretty sure he can protect them (she obviously can’t protect herself, what is this the 21st century?).
Back to the bar and if it was up to me, I would have left all the men behind when the first sharks start flying through the windows (tornado, remember?) and the bar and pier started to collapse. But our rag-tag team decide to stick together: Fin, Baz, Nova and Handsy George jump in the car and head to April’s. She lives on a hill they figure, so less flooding.
It’s a stressful trip to April’s and I’d be lying if I said everyone makes it. One of the gang will not live to slap another woman’s bottom against her will ever again *hint*. Nova gets hold of a shotgun (well this is America, you get them from vending machines there, no?) and is more than happy to blow the fuck out of every shark she sees. She really really hates them so much so that you’d think she has a tragic shark-themed back story.
I quite enjoy Nova, it has to be said even though her mooning over Fin gets tired really soon. Even if I understand it only too well, babe.
April is deeply unimpressed when Fin arrives and she’s obviously not one for girl power as she calls Nova a stripper right off the bat. Unfortunately, April’s house is not the fortress of watertight safety they were expecting and things go pear-shaped quickly. On the plus side, April’s foppish boyfriend Collin (Christopher Wolfe) becomes chum, thus paving the way for a possible reunion between Fin and April? I’m not sure if she deserves him yet tbh!
So the gang grows as they decide their only option is to go and find Fin and April’s son Matt (Charles Hittinger) who’s in flight school. Riiiiight. Things escalate, people get bitten, our team finds a pet store full of weapons (?) and decide to build a bomb to fly into the heart of the tornado, as you do, thus killing the storm and the sharks.
Nova begins to bond with Matt, who is way closer to her in age and it’s kind of creepy. She confides in him the real reason she hates sharks so much and it’s HILARIOUS. I mean, the funniest, most improbable tale EVERRRR. Wouldn’t it be terrible, after all Nova’s been through and on the cusp of a new relationship with her crush’s son to boot, if she didn’t make it?
Hmmmmmm. I’ll wrap up here but will tell you this. Fin has definitely seen one or two Evil Dead movies because his chainsaw work is wonderful. He gets intimate with a very large Great White and does his best to protect his family while he’s at it.
Can Fin win back the love of his family, who resent him for being an absent father? Will April ever acknowledge that her new boyfriend has been killed, a moment of silence if you will for Collin? Who will make it? Who won’t?
Will you care?
Jesus H. Christ on a bike. This is godawful. I got bored half way through which I wasn’t expecting and I just didn’t care, I’m sorry Fin – I love you but no. I can’t really believe they’ve made three further films in this series – honestly, I was tired of sharks crashing through windows after maybe the second time, so I don’t know how they’ve kept it fresh. Perhaps they haven’t, I don’t know if I’ll even make the sequels.
The effects aren’t quite as bad as expected but maybe that’s because I’ve seen Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2015) which makes this look like a Michael Mann movie. Though I did want to see more animatronics à la Bruce the Shark as the CGI makes it feel so empty and soulless.
Apart from the beautiful Fin, the rest of the cast are pretty forgettable. Nova probably shows the most promise but I can’t tell if that’s just because she carries a weapon and isn’t afraid to muck in. Tara Reid I imagine gets a bit harder in the following films (judging by the images I’ve seen – spoiler!) but in this she just looks worried the whole time.
If you’re interested my new favourite website is unclear as to whether this film passes the Bechdel Test. I tried to follow myself but got distracted and I’m guessing probs not.
My Rating: 2.5/5. Poor. So bad it’s just bad with nothing really endearing about it. Although Fin does look very good in plaid.