Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)

AUGUST 6, 2011


Maybe it's not the best idea to try to review two Shark Attack movies in such a short period, but I really wanted to watch Shark Attack 3: Megalodon after it got Phil's seal of approval. Also, since I had seen so many clips of the film out of context via Youtube links (including many of the climactic deaths), I wanted to watch the whole movie before every single good moment was ruined. Also I was four reviews behind and didn't want to tax my brain.

The main difference between 2 and 3 is that instead of copying Jaws, this one follows a more typical/generic monster movie template, in that there are a few attacks and then the shark is captured, only to discover that it's just the baby of the REAL monster, in this case a shark that is said to be 65 feet long but is clearly much bigger as it is able to swallow jetskis and their owners whole, or even two people at the same time in a different scene. You also get stronger human villains, though it's a bit botched as their master plan is not to capture the shark to make weapons out of it or something, or even anything related to the shark at all - they just want to lay fiber optic cable throughout the ocean in order to improve global communications. Uh... you bastards?

What makes them evil, of course, is that they put human lives in danger in order to achieve their goals, but it's still hard to really dislike them, since this is a low budget shark movie and thus without a few innocent people being munched there isn't much of a point of watching it, is there? It's also hard to hate a guy who just randomly starts tossing grenades into the water trying to kill the shark that has incapacitated their boat. I mean, these guys are actually kind of awesome, and they die in the most heroic manner possible - just sort of gliding into the shark's mouth via very lousy compositing and CG animation.

But it takes a long time to get to that nuttiness, and sadly the first hour isn't nearly as hilarious or fun. Every now and then it seems like they're about to do something different, like when a couple rides a waterslide, making out the whole way down. The thing eventually turns into a vertical tube that just drops them back into the ocean (what the hell kind of water slide does that?), and thus what SHOULD have happened is that the shark would be waiting at the bottom, mouth open waiting for them to fall in. But no, they land in the water, make out again, and then get attacked/eaten in the same manner you've seen a zillion times in other shark movies.

Luckily there's some laughably terrible acting to help things seem a little more fun than they really are, with everyone speaking English phonetically and the lead actress giving even the simplest lines with all the conviction of a subway conductor announcing the next stop. Hero John Barrowman is the only recognizable/decent actor in the entire thing, and he's clearly enjoying playing an alpha male hero with a fondness for ladies' privates (Barrowman is a very openly gay actor), so that also keeps the movie afloat until the GIANT giant shark shows up.

But he's also saddled with some of the movie's most crushingly stupid moments, like when he finds a shark tooth he can't identify and thus needs to take a picture of it for a shark expert website. Not only does he already have a camera attached to his computer for some reason, but when he takes the pic it instantly uploads without any of the background (or the fingers he was holding it with). Then we get the silliest fake computer graphics ever as he types MYSTERY SHARK TOOTH! HELP ME IDENTIFY! or something (it takes up the entire screen). Even better, the female lead (they haven't met yet) is for some reason all over this exact same site, solving his mystery rather quickly and boarding the next plane to Mexico (by way of Bulgaria).

And there are a couple of good kills, particularly the guy playing with his dog, who you expect to be the victim. Instead, the dog demonstrates that he is smarter than his owner, and refuses to go out into the water to get the frisbee they were playing with. So the owner goes out and gets it, and then gets eaten. I also liked the obligatory hang-gliding scene, because the shark kills the boat folk and then snatches the rope that is attached to the girl up in the air, sort of taking the boat's place. His super-speed keeps her up there for a while, screaming frantically while one of our heroes yells "He's taking her out to sea!" Wonderful B-movie moment.

So I guess it depends on your preferences for shark movies. If you like a more even pace with a few regular sized sharks, SA2 should appeal more to you. But if you just want one regular shark for most of the movie, and then one mega shark that shows up in the final half hour and does THIS:

...then Shark Attack 3 will be the best thing you've ever seen.

What say you?

1 comment:

  1. It's supremely terrible, of course, but Shark Attack 3 really feels like it's some cast-off from an Cannon backlot from the 80s. So egregiously stupid and funny, plus THOSE EFFECTS.

    Also, I'm still waiting for Shark Attack 4.


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