It’s August, Sharknado Week is going on on Syfy, and I have almost a full month of shark themed movies to dive right into. I honestly don’t know if this day can start off any better. Ok, so today’s movie is the first movie in a series but it is actually the last one in the series that I saw, while the last movie in the series was the first one I saw. To be honest, that was a bit of a mistake, as I went from the total campiness of the third movie to the somewhat serious tone of this movie. Oh well, nothing to be done about that now. So let’s get this month of shark movies started with a bang as I watch today’s movie, Shark Attack.
The plot: In Port Amanzi, Africa, Marc Desantis has just finished diving and returns to his boat. He is in the middle of emailing some research he has been gathering to his friend Steven McKray when he is suddenly attacked by two men, who turn out to be crooked cops. The cops take him out on their boat and cut his arm before dumping him in the water, where he is eaten by a shark. At the Biscayne Marine Institute in Florida, Steven gets a phone message from Marc asking for help and checks his email but the file Marc sent was incomplete. Steven tries calling Marc but when he doesn’t get an answer, he looks up shark attacks in the area and convinces his boss that it is worth sending him there to investigate. When Steven arrives in Port Amanzi, he is greeted by Lawrence Rhodes, a hotel owner and businessman, who informs Steven that the shark problem has decimated the fishing recently, which has played havoc on the town’s economy and caused several businesses to close. Steven heads to the local marine institute and speaks with Miles Kraven, another colleague who runs the institute, and Miles Steven about Marc having been killed in a diving accident. Hearing that Marc’s sister, Corine, was in town to handle Marc’s affairs, Steven goes to speak with her but she gets upset and blames him for Marc’s death. After Steven gets in a fight with a local fisherman, who blames Americans for the lousy fishing, Jenny apologizes and they head to Marc’s boat to try and find the data Marc was trying to send Steven. When they get there, Jenny notices Marc’s dive watch on the floor and notes that it is strange, because he was wearing his normal watch when his body was found. Leaving the boat, they encounter the angry fisherman again but before another fight breaks out, they see a boy being attacked by a shark and Steven and the fisherman both jump in the water to save him and the fisherman begrudgingly gives Steven some respect. The next day, Steven heads out to where Marc had been diving recently only to find Corine already there and ready to dive. The two explore the water and find a thumper, a device used to attract sharks, located in an old wreck. After encountering a great white, the two head up to the surface when they suddenly find themselves ensnared in a net and Steven is forced to cut Corine’s scuba tanks off her so she can get free. When they reach the surface, they find the local villagers, the Coisan, yelling at Mani, their boat’s captain, as they claim all of the land and water in the area and they are the only ones who can hunt sharks. Steven and Corine return to the institute to talk to Miles and tell him they think Marc was murdered but Miles tells them he has an arrangement with the Coisan and they wouldn’t have hurt Marc. Steven and Corine head back to the cove in order to catch a shark and dissect it, where they discover the shark’s liver is deformed and the brain appears to have encephalitis, but the Coisan appear and demand the shark’s body or they will tell the police. The next day, Steven and Corine study blood samples from the shark and find a strange hormone in it’s blood. During dinner with Miles, Rhodes, and his wife, they tell them what they have found but Miles doesn’t seem to think it is a problem, then has them follow him to the local hospital, where he has been using an experimental drug made from the shark’s liver to try and treat cancer patients. The next day, Steven, Corine, and Mani head out to examine the thumper but stop to help a woman who is being attacked by a shark, and Steven notices another thumper nearby. Using a shark cage, Steven and Corine dive down to turn off the thumpers but Mani get’s knocked unconscious and someone unhooks their cage from the boat, causing it to sink to the bottom, but they manage to survive. When Steven and Corine return to their hotel room, they are abducted by the crooked cops and taken back out to the cove and dumped into the water. Steven has Corine swim to the bottom with him, where they find Corine’s scuba tank they abandoned earlier, and use it to swim to shore. When they return to the hotel, they tell Rhodes about their abduction and Rhodes tells them he will call the police but when they realize the police were the ones to abduct them, they quickly run from the hotel and hop into Mani’s cab and escape. After they manage to avoid the police, Steven and Corine sneak back into the hospital to study the files and find that Miles’ drug is not working and instead makes things worse. Sneaking into the institute, Steven copies Miles’ data but he is caught by Miles and Mr. Hatcher, his head of security. Corine causes a distraction and they try to escape but through the shark pool but Hatcher closes the gate, capturing Corine. After avoiding the police, Steven makes and arrangement to meet with Miles and give him back the disk in exchange for Corine but when they see Rhodes heading for the institute, Steven and Mani realize he is involved and break into his office to find proof. Mani then takes Steven to the bar to recruit the other fishermen to help them, showing them the proof that Rhodes was deliberately destroying their livelihoods for his own gain. Steven then heads to the institute to confront Miles and Rhodes and it is revealed that Miles knew nothing of Rhodes plan and it was Hatcher who placed the thumpers near the beach to get the sharks to attack the tourists so Rhodes can buy up the town and sell it to an oil firm. Rhodes orders Hatcher and the police to kill Steven and Corine but Mani and the other fishermen arrive to rescue them. During the fight, Mani is injured and Miles is killed and Steven tries to stop Rhodes from escaping in his helicopter, causing the helicopter to crash. Steven and Rhodes had managed to jump into the water and swim for a buoy but the thumper underneath it attracts a great white, which kills Rhodes. The next day, the fishermen are happy at being able to return to fishing, with Steven promising to send in some scientists to help finish dealing with the sharks that Miles had altered and as Steven and Corine figure out where they are going next, they share a kiss.
There was actually a lot of good things about this movie, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The acting was pretty good, with Casper Van Dien (Steven), Ernie Hudson (Rhodes), Bentley Mitchum (Miles), and Tony Caprari (Mani) doing a good job in their roles, though Jenny McShane (Corine) was pretty annoying. The story was interesting pretty interesting but I honestly felt like it was more about the human drama and didn’t really have as many shark attacks as I was expecting. While a number of the special effects were not that good, the scenes with the sharks actually looked really good, though that was probably because they were footage of actual sharks that were just inserted into the movie. A decent movie but they should have had more sharks involved it.
Rating: 3 out of 5