Sunday, June 16, 2013

Movie Review: Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus

I used to see this film (by The Asylum, who usually specialize in spitting out 'mockbusters' a few months before the blockbuster they're intended to capitalize on) hanging out in the RedBox machine. (It's been a while since I patronized RedBox, so it's possible that it's still there.) But I never got around to renting it. Then signed up for Netflix. Netflix had it, too, so I put it in my queue, but never got around to watching it. Then we got cable television. And I found it again. So, I recorded it and (hopefully you've guessed it) this time I watched it.

My verdict: I don't think I'll be watching the sequel (Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus).[1] When I see movies like this I wonder why I don't have a job as a screenwriter. I'm sure I can write better stuff than this schlock. The characters are wooden and the acting only serves to emphasize this. Debbie Gibson's acting career seems to be on the same (or even a worse) trajectory than her singing career. Also: why didn't they make the actor for the government agent cut off his ponytail? It totally destroyed his credibility. As for the appearance of the film, the CGI is jerky and doesn't blend well with the live-action footage. A giant shark jumping out of the ocean and catching a descending airplane is a cool idea, but the execution falls short (and doesn't live up to the hype so many people give it).

My biggest complaint, though, is the science. It is, in a word, laughable. When designing a chemical to lure the shark and octopus, the "scientists" combine different colored liquids and then shake their heads in frustration. Then (after an amorous encounter) one of the scientists has a brilliant idea: what about pheromones? So they make some. How do they know it will work? When they combine the liquids this time it turns fluorescent green. Brilliant! (Not really.) They also show lots of creatures that shouldn't be in Alaskan waters, including hammerhead sharks [2] and manta rays.


[1] If the title of the sequel spoils the ending of this movie for you, I apologize.

[2] See my distribution map here.

Image attributions:

Great White Shark is by Pterantula (Terry Goss), available at shark.jpg.

Giant Squid is by Citron, available at

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