Though I wasn’t quite as vicious with my critique of last years sugar-free 3D shark attack flick, Shark Night, I was still not a fan. If you would like to hear my initial thoughts, as well as Jeff’s 30 minute rant in defense of the creature flick, you can find that on this episode of the podcast(WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS). My main complaint, as I’m guessing was the complaint on the tips of most moviegoers tongues, was, why PG-13? The year before gave us Alex Aja’s Piranha 3D, which was crafted with excess being the driving factor. How then, can a film such as Shark Night, deliver elements that fans have come to know and love, such as excessive nudity and gore? As Jeff pointed out to me, these things are present within Shark Night, but not in excess.
While I was initially bummed about the lack of nipples, and buckets of gore, my main problem with Shark Night when I finally sat down to watch it was the nonsensical plot. I plan on spoiling the “twist” of this movie, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and wish to remain in the dark, stop reading now and come back after you’ve watched the flick. Now that that is out of the way… What? Really? So, three bumbling rednecks, gathered various types of sharks, and transported them into this lake? Why would they do such a thing, you ask? Well, apparently, since Shark Week is the most watched television event in history, a sizable percentage of that audience is not quite satisfied by Discovery’s footage, and wishto wet their whistle with a bit of shark related snuff. Someone wrote this, and now you can’t unlearn it.
But wait! There’s more! Not only is the dad from grounded for life leading a couple of brain dead rednecks around gathering shark for their venture, but there’s also a revenge plot underneath all of that. Apparently, our main character Sara, played by the always cute Sara Paxton, was once involved with Dennis, one of our half-witted hillbillies. Things didn’t end so well between the two. One day while diving, Dennis tried to drown Sara, and Sara cut half of Dennis’ face off with a boat propeller. Exciting stuff, huh?
So, Dennis is upset, because not only did Sara leave him to go away to college, but she left him with a giant ugly scar on his face. And, while I understand Dennis’ motivation, why are the other two numbnuts going along with this plan? The town sheriff, played by Donal Logue, acts as if he’s the ringleader of this shit parade. I’m not sure if it was written that way, simply because he’s actually the local authority figure, of if he orchestrated the plan. It’s never really explained, and examining it much further would be an exercise in futility.
Sounds like I hated Shark Night, right? Well, not exactly. I wasn’t pleased with it upon my initial viewing, but I’ve decided it’s a movie that can be thoroughly enjoyed, despite its many shortcomings. While most people were bitching about the shots of CG sharks. I was having a blast with the animatronic sharks, and the great puppeteer work. There’s a special feature on the disc titled “Fake sharks, real scares”, and it really sheds light on the creation of the creatures. Sure, there was some CGI for certain scenes that couldn’t be recreated through animatronics, but the fact that the close-ups and full on attacks were handled with giant puppets was enough for me.
On the other side of my Blu Ray viewing, I’ve decided that I disagree with Jeff, as far as Shark Night being one of the best movies of 2011(Year, it’s on his best of 2011 list. You can hear that here). It’s definitely not on my list, nor has my revisit changed my mind about that. But, I enjoyed it for what it is this time around. I think it’s a fun movie, that had more than its fair share of hyperbole heaped atop its head. It was definitely not one of the worst movies I saw during the year. I think if you go into this movie, with the right mindset, perhaps even some chemical, or herbal relaxation methods, that you will find enjoyment as well. I think it’s probably one of the better “party” flicks of the year. I’m glad to have the Blu Ray, and plan to slap it in the player the next time I have company that wishes to be entertained.