Dinoshark (2010)

Dinoshark (2010)

Fear what’s just below the surface

Global warming causes a polar icecap to melt, freeing the tadpole of a prehistoric shark that had been frozen in there for millions of years. It heads for warmer waters when it grows bigger and eventually ends up off the coast of a Mexican resort where it begins feeding off anyone unfortunate to swim in its path. The authorities believe that a tiger shark is responsible but boat captain Trace McGraw has other ideas and eventually leads a mission to find and kill the shark.

 

Clearly content with milking more of the ‘Dino-something’ formula, director Kevin O’Neill (who brought us 2004′s Dinocroc) returns to his prehistoric stomping ground in this Sci-Fi Channel original. Cue the standard Sci-Fi Channel creature feature review where I moan about the poor CGI effects, the same recycled plot, the terrible acting, etc. It’s going to happen because the film is exactly the same as the other million creature features out there. Think of a recent straight-to-video killer shark flick (actually anything killer underwater creature will do) and you’ll know exactly what is going to happen in Dinoshark. Even the posters are all starting to look the same.

I’m not going to talk about the same old clichés because that’s all I ever do in these reviews. Rest assured all you need to know is that the usual town event is fasting approaching and the townspeople have a big problem. Guess the event is going to be gate-crashed at some point by the creature? The problem with the film isn’t the fact that it’s the same old, same old, it’s the fact that it doesn’t seem to want to even bother going through the motions anymore. Everything just happens so quickly throughout the film. There’s no build-up to anything. It’s all very rushed. Attacks are over and done with before you can really see anything. Characters are quick to assume everything and take it for gospel truth. A lot of monster fodder characters get less time than usual on screen before they’re eaten (I think the canoeist had about three lines). Even the finale is over before you know what is going on.

The script is horrid, especially during the forced scenes of what little scientific mumbo jumbo there is. Eric Balfour is the token name on show here but there’s so little to talk about with his character because he gives so little away. Iva Hasperger looks great constantly bearing her midsection through a variety of nice mini-short and bikini combinations but as far as a character goes, she’s rather pointless and gets to utter the film’s worst line in the token ‘I need to say something witty right before I kill the creature’ scene. You’ve got to the love the scene in which she was looking on her laptop for information about the shark when she just stands up and takes her top off. I guess they played to her strengths.

Legendary director and producer Roger Corman himself appears as a scientist but the guy’s clearly not an actor and his lines are painfully delivered. Stick to producing or directing and you’ll be fine (ish). The rest of the cast really struggle to speak English, let alone act properly although this time I can’t blame Eastern Europeans as the film was shot in Mexico.

The gore is at least decent enough with the shark leaving a half-eaten corpse, a decapitated head and severed leg in its wake. It’s a pity then that the attack scenes feature the same worthless CGI shots of the shark swimming underwater and then breaching the surface to pull its victim down into the depths. At no point does it seem like the shark is actually eating anyone because you rarely see the two on screen at the same time. It’s also coincidental that the shark is always nearby when someone falls into the water, ready to pounce.

There should have been a great scene in which the shark attacks a crocodile in the canal but the split-second attack just completely wasted the opportunity for at least some CGI monster vs monster action. The CGI shark doesn’t look too bad in its underwater shots but the effects team must have ran out of time and rushed the rest of the shots of it attacking helicopters, smashing boats and such like as the quality is very poor and also very brief. Blink and you’ll miss some of the film’s ‘best’ moments. Did I mention the soundtrack is clearly a knock-off of John Williams’ classic Jaws score? What would a shark film be without it being recycled in some form?

 

My expectations were low and Dinoshark didn’t disappoint me by being anything other than a complete waste of time. If you think the film would have any redeeming quality whatsoever then you are an idiot and need to watch better films.

 

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