Sunday, September 1, 2013

DARK TIDE (2012)

Best IMDB Keywords: male vomiting, bikini top, telling a joke

September is here!  And, whereas last year we rocked ourselves to hell as a lead-up to October's grand buffet of horror, 2013 is a different year.  A year in which literally every old lady at my work hurt my feelings by talking about SHARKNADO.  As in, "Haw haw, they made a movie called Sharknado!  I'm sure that is just great!  I'm being sarcastic!!"  Dear old fatbags, kindly STOP liking things that I like.  Bad shark films have a storied lineage, a heritage that should be remembered.  So let's remember them and turn September into SHARKtember, shall we?

There are many kinds of sharks, but only two kinds of actors: actors and people who play themselves.  When I saw WOULD YOU RATHER (s'ok), I seriously did not know that was Jeffrey Combs until halfway through the film.  On the other hand, Kristen Stewart is always just kind of Kristen Stewart, just in different situations.  In DARK TIDE, Halle Berry plays a Halle Berry who is a shark expert.  The film opens with her and her crew joking around on a boat, just before she hits the water to free-dive with great whites.  These early scenes are a mixture of Berry mistily speechifying about sharks ("You have to get below them, in the power position", which then never happens in this film) and everyone making references to asses.  

Cause for concern, but at least we have great shots of real sharks!  This poor baby has had a dorsal fin mishap.  Maybe it happened when Berry and her assistant were riding it(!) or grabbing its tail(!).  Everything in nature is SO cute, just like weird puppies!  Thankfully, sharks don't tolerate this nonsense and one bites a big piece out of her grabby colleague.  This is called an "accident", even though it's clearly jerks getting their just desserts.  Enjoy these shark scenes in this ostensibly shark movie, because they take an extended break after this.  Because we shift focus to emotional conversation, bantering, and bickering for about thirty minutes.

Berry is estranged from her French boyfriend, who brings a bickering son and dad pair into their lives.  Dad wants to free-swim with sharks and drags the kid along.  It takes approximately forever to get these people back out to sea and then we have to suffer through interminable scenes of diving with seals and then with some seaweed.  Eventually, finally, some shark action happens.

But don't get excited!  It's fleeting and crowded out by more dad-son bickering...

By quick shots of Halle Berry looking bristly in a bikini top...

And by Halle Berry arguing with French Guy.

It's like the movie thinks character development can happen just by making characters bitch at each other.  But surely this will lead to something great?  After they all get reunited and touch our hearts, it will be time for death to arrive in rows of serrated teeth?

Well, kinda.  Sharks really only kill a few people every year and not even 1/4 of them are in this movie.  The body count is smallish, but what's more unforgiveable is that death comes cloaked in darkness and splashy water, probably to hide shoddy shark effects.  So take most of the shark upsides out of the shark movie and what do we have?  Halle Berry acting, lots of fussin' and cussin', and some admittedly pretty nature shots that are probably outprettied by nature documentaries.  It's impossible to care about the characters, but they occupy so much screen time that, by the time they're eaten, you're just too exhausted to care.  Thankfully, nobody noticed this at all or we might have had another Halle Berry agent thrown under the bus.  Here's hoping Sharktember gets a little livelier!


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