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Monday, September 5, 2011

Shark Night 3D



Shark Night 3D is the bottom feeder of the summer; a low-rent, excruciating-to-endure violation of the sacred trust between movies and audiences. Whereas last year's glorious Piranha 3D was a lasciviously bloody and absurdly entertaining monster-fish-massacre spectacle, Shark Night 3D chooses to zig where Piranha 3D zagged at every opportunity, delivering the polar opposite of a good time at the movies watching murderous fish wage war on stupid humans. The good news for every other movie of 2011 is that the lowest bar has now been set and can be easily hurdled no matter how lousy your movie is.

Shark Night 3D wouldn't exist at all if Piranha 3D weren't successful. Shark Night calculatedly apes Piranha's tropes without at all understanding how or why Piranha worked. The first and most important mistake is Shark Night 3D is inexplicably and foolishly rated PG-13. That right there slices the belly of the beast and lets the guts fall right out. Kids and childish adults, Shark Night has no sex, no boobs (except for a couple of brief teases from behind), and no nudity besides a bare-assed shot of a naked dude. Thanks, jerks. There is nothing even remotely equal to this epic, Oscar-worthy sequence of art, beauty and pleasure that should be preserved forever in the Smithsonian. Shark Night didn't even fucking try.

All right, so there are no naked ladies in this lake full of killer sharks, but at least there are amusingly bloody murders, right? Nope. Unlike how the piranha were omni-present throughout Piranha 3D, shown early and gleefully often, Shark Night cheaps out by not showing a shark for nearly an hour - as if there was supposed to be some mystery to there being sharks in the waters of Lake Redneck, Louisiana where the movie is set. Once the movie's cast of college-age simpletons is introduced, it takes forever for them to even make it to the million dollar lake house that the rest of the movie is set in. Shark Night wastes like, half an hour, showing the dummies just going to the lake house. Isn't it fun to watch a group of chums motorboat to a lake house? No.

Sara Paxton stars as PG-13 Riley Steele, without a lot up top. Katherine McPhee from American Idol substitutes as PG-13 Kelly Brook. There's another chick who's kind of like Jessica Szohr, and then a bunch of dudes. There's a wisecracking nerdy guy who was in Avatar, and a jock dude whose main character trait is that "he spray tans his junk." One of the dudes, a "nerd" who turns out to be the hero, thinks he's Aquaman because he dives into the water over and over despite knowing there are a shitload of killer sharks in the water. 

The noblest character turns out to be the black guy, a star athlete on his way to the NFL and in love with the girl who isn't Paxton or McPhee. Guess who the racist sharks attack first? The sharks may not actually have killed the black guy first - the first kill is his girlfriend, also a minority - but a shark bites his arm off so he can never play football again. The black guy then goes insane and then - I shit you not - goes hunting for the sharks with a spear, killing a hammerhead mano e sharko. And then a few minutes later, he decides to commit suicide and lets himself get eaten by a shark. What. The. Fuck?

Did I mention these characters were stupid? After the black guy gets his arm bitten off, the kids go into hysterics and are unable to call for help. You see, all the way out there in the lake, their cell phones don't work. But, uh, it's a multi-million dollar lake house. Wouldn't the house have a land line? No? Hey wait, on the wall next to the doors are ADT security boxes. Why don't they just press the Alarm and call for help? Because they're stupid. They're not just stupid, but histrionic. During the interminably long periods between shark attacks, we are subjected to the overbearing melodrama of the characters loudly and tearfully bemoaning the unfairness of it all. When most of them get killed by sharks, at least it shuts them up.

How did sharks get in a lake to begin with? Two sets of characters offer the half-assed explanation that "hurricanes" and "rising tides" brought the sharks into these waters. Apparently there are 46 different types of sharks in the lakes, though we are treated to only a handful of the unsightly CGI creatures. In a series of forehead-slapping reveals, we discover that the local rednecks are in fact behind all of the shark murders in these waters. They may even have bred the sharks, it's not really clear. 

The rednecks' master plan: to use high def cameras attached to the sharks' bellies to record them murdering people so they can sell the videos to the black market. (Sharks with frickin' cameras; what, they didn't go for sharks with frickin' laser beams?) You see, Shark Week is the biggest annual event on basic cable so - get this - the rednecks figured a segment of the Shark Week audience would just love to watch real people eaten by sharks. And the rednecks wouldn't go to prison over this how? Also, these are dirt-poor redneck fishermen in the Gulf post-Katrina and post-BP oil spill, but they somehow had the budget to fund this operation, breed sharks, and attach them with expensive HD cameras (how do they change the batteries?), all on the speculation that they might get a buyer for their shark snuff films!

There's also a lot of backstory between Paxton and the main redneck, Scarface, whom she had the hots for three years ago ("three years ago" comes up a lot as a time frame. A lot happened "three years ago"). All of these shark murders were sort of just an elaborate revenge plot by Scarface to eventually have Paxton eaten by a shark. But who cares? Who motherfuckin' cares? Shark Night 3D is not just a complete waste of time, but at the inflated 3D prices, Shark Night bites you thoroughly in the ass where your wallet is.