Shark Night 3D
The first thing you should know before seeing “Shark Night 3D” is that it’s rated PG-13. When I heard that, I couldn’t believe it. They made a cheesy, sharksploitation movie and then cut out the only factor that might have made it stand out? Poor decision. They should have done what “Piranha 3D” did last summer–embrace the R rating, and everything that goes along with it. “Piranha” greatly benefited from their rating decision. “Shark Night” did not.
Filled with actors you won’t recognize (probably lifted from CW television shows) and Katharine McPhee from American Idol (I didn’t know that either; I had to look it up), the simple plot involves college students on a weekend trip to a lake house who find they are trapped on an island by sharks in the lake. That’s about it. With typical characters and no plot, the only thing left to be appealing is the sharks, which turn out to be…pretty decent.
The shark effects are actually good. One thing I especially liked is that it’s not all Great Whites. They use a variety, including Hammerhead and Cookie Cutter sharks, so I applaud that they found a way to introduce some originality into a shark movie. The lead (whom my wife told me was on the first season of 90210) is likeable. He doesn’t come across as a smug frat-boy that you want to see get killed off. Kudos to him for that–he’s the best character of the bunch. I also have a personal bias for Joel David Moore, known to most as Norm Spellman from Avatar. He DOES play a rather cliche character, but since I like him as an actor, I forgave it. You may not.
The underwater footage is surprisingly good. I did see it in 3D and was impressed with the seaweed waving back and forth in the screen. It was well done. The above-water stuff may as well be in 2D though. The biggest problem for this movie is that the shark attacks, while well done, are relatively boring. There’s only one standout that I can think of, and a lot of the others feel a bit perfunctory. It’s a death knell for this kind of movie, so I ultimately can’t recommend it.
The 5 rating isn’t terrible, but neither is the movie. It’s mildly entertaining, but if you’re paying $10 or more for a ticket, there are much better options. Unless you’re crazy about sharks, like I know one person reading this is.