JUNE 23, 2012
In my opinion, Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus was one of the more disappointing Asylum films, failing to provide any real entertainment beyond what we saw in the trailer and offering up a piss-poor showdown between the two beasts. And I wasn't the only one who felt this way, so I was hopeful that Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus would improve on its predecessor and deliver something closer to Mega Piranha (which is their best monster movie, I think). But alas, they apparently learned nothing, as this suffers from the exact same problems and even a few new ones.
The one thing they did improve is the promised fight; it's not exactly a Godzilla vs Mothra level affair, but they meet a bit earlier in the narrative than in the first film, and their fight actually has some variety to it (plus Crocosaurus lays some eggs that hatch, so Mega Shark can fight some baby Crocosauruses for even more variety). And while their "deaths" in the first film were lame, this one offers a hilariously awesome shot of the two of them sinking into the ocean, each with their jaws clamped down on the other one's tail/fin. It's a thing of beauty... shitty, low budget beauty.
Otherwise it's pretty much the same boring/bad movie. Again we have a globe trotting adventure where everything suspiciously looks like Southern California, but this time (at least, I don't remember them doing it this much in the original) the characters have developed warp powers, as they go from Miami to Santa Monica in what seems like a few moments (and by helicopter to boot!). I don't know why they continually go way beyond their means with their plots to these things - it's not like Godzilla really ever made it far beyond Japan.
At least this time around the monsters aren't together and then separate; Crocosaurus is in the jungle (in a cave where diamond miners are seen digging roughly twelve feet from the entrance) and Mega Shark is in the ocean. However, Crocosaurus doesn't stay there long; she's in the water just as much as Mega Shark, it seems. And while this is probably what allowed for them to interact a bit more, it severely cuts down on the amount of giant monster action - obviously Crocosaurus would have more options for victims if she was rampaging around the land for most of her screentime, whereas Mega Shark is limited to Navy ships and such. There's a fun bit where Crocosaurus destroys part of "Miami", but it's incredibly brief, and doesn't make up for the depressing lack of variety to Mega Shark's attacks, all of which involve jumping over a ship while swatting it with its fin.
Plus, an entire third of the movie consists of nothing but the three leads (including Urkel and Asylum regular Sarah Lieving, who is a much welcome upgrade from Debbie Gibson in my opinion) sitting in a helicopter commenting on the action, dishing exposition, or offering up attack plans. All of these movies are shot in 10 day periods, but I swear they must have spent one of those days in its entirety just pointing a camera at these three as they sat around spouting nonsense. The shot is always close enough to not see any of the exterior, nor do they ever switch the angle, so there is absolutely no variety to these scenes whatsoever, and since their plans are just gibberish ("Sonic spheres!" "Nuclear arc lights!") you can probably swap them around in the narrative without it making any difference at all.
It also lacks any interesting human characters, which you'd think would be a pointless thing to mention in an Asylum movie, but they usually have SOMEONE worth giving a shit about. But everyone's bland here, even Lieving is less interesting than usual. Urkel's fiance dies in the opening attack sequence, but he doesn't seem to be really grieving much, since he barely mentions her again and spends most of the movie just offering ideas on how to stop them (spoiler: he doesn't, until the movie's almost over). Even the great Robert Picardo is kind of boring, as a commander who wants to succeed at this mission so he can smoke a rare cigar as a reward. That's about it for his character development. Combine all of that with the hilariously bad supporting cast (I particularly liked the guy who wasn't even really hitting anything when he fake-typed at his computer, just sort of twirling his fingers around in the general vicinity of the keys), and you have a movie that almost seems to be going out of its way to bore the audience to tears. My only theory is that they knew their monster action was underwhelming and thus decided to make the rest of it even MORE insipid so that the scenes with Mega Shark and/or Crocosaurus would look good in comparison. If so: nope!
What say you?