The one thing that I will miss now that the Sharknado franchise is finished is all of the new shark movies that would come out every year. Today’s movie is one of those movies that came out during that time period. I will admit that this movie only marginally caught my interest when it came out, and that was mainly because both Jason and Jeremy London were reported to be in it. I know, that is not really a good reason to watch a movie but that is what got my interest. So lets see if giving it a second watch makes it any better as I watch today’s movie, Mississippi River Sharks.
The plot: In New Orleans, a woman is on a Tinder date that is ending badly when a pair of bull sharks are propelled onto the deck by the steamboat’s paddlewheel and the woman grabs an elderly woman’s cane to fend them off. Elsewhere, Tara has returned home from college to take part in the town’s annual fishing competition with her father Ray. As people get set up by the river, the parish’s mayor, Big Bill, is told by his assistant about the shark attack and the governor’s warning for people to stay off the river but he ignores it, as he has sunk too much money into the festival and is more concerned about their celebrity guest, Jason London, not showing up yet. When Jason London shows up, the contest gets underway and Tara and Ray start getting their gear on their boat when Ray is called away to handle a shipment that arrived at his store. As he heads to the store, Ray sees a fisherman get yanked off a dock by whatever he caught on his line and as Ray goes to help him, the fisherman is killed by a shark. Back at the marina, Tara is finishing loading the gear and ends up talking with Eric, an old high school classmate that has a crush on her, and his friend Wyatt when Ray calls and tells Tara about the shark attack. When a head floats up to the marina, Tara, Eric, Big Bill, and Jason see it and Big Bill admits that he was warned about the sharks but didn’t think they would make it up the river. Back at the dock, the sheriff arrives and goes to retrieve the body when a shark attacks him and Ray is able to rescue him. A news van shows up and as the reporter, Allison, tries to ask the sheriff some questions, her cameraman goes up to the water to get some footage of the body and ends up being killed by the shark. Back at the marina, Tara tries to convince Big Bill to call off the festival and he reluctantly agrees to do it. Jason says that he will tell the crowd about the shut down but none of them believe him, as they think he is playing up his “Shark Bite” movies. Eric and Tara head back to wear Wyatt is, just as he pulls up a shark with his wrecker. After Tara kills it, she heads to the judges booth to let them know about the sharks and Big Bill’s assistant goes to get the entry forms so they can contact all the entrants and get them out of the water but as he is returning to the marina, he drops the forms and is killed by a shark as he was picking them up. Back at the marina, another man is killed as more sharks appear in the marina. Tara, Eric, and Wyatt decide to deal with the sharks themselves and plan on heading back to Ray’s store to get some weapons. They try to get Jason to help them but Jason refuses, saying he is just an actor so they leave him. When they start getting Ray’s boat ready to sail, Jason sees a shark approaching Tara and tries to save her but ends up being killed instead. At the shop, Wyatt starts grabbing all of the guns on the shelves but Tara says it might not be enough and has Eric help her make some explosives. When they are ready, they head out to try and kill the sharks but when Wyatt uses one of the pipe bombs, Big Bill confronts them and, blaming them for what is happening, takes the bag of explosives. As he heads to the marina, Big Bill sees one of the contestants, Possum, trying to sneak off with the trophy and as the two men argue, a shark attacks them both, biting off their arms and causing them to fall into the water. Meanwhile, Ray, Allison, and the sheriff are stranded after they run over a shark and as more reports come in, Ray and Allison head to the marina while the sheriff goes to help another fisherman and ends up getting killed in the process. Back at the marina, Tara comes up with a new plan and as Eric and Wyatt get their wrecker fixed, she goes to the marina to find a net and chum, encountering Ray and Allison as she does. Dumping the chum off a bridge to attract the sharks, they manage to capture them in a net and use the wrecker to pull them out of the water. As Tara pulls out her last pipe bomb, Wyatt begs to be the one to use it but he drops it too soon and it explodes harmlessly in the water. As the weight of the sharks starts causing the net to drop back towards the water, Wyatt gets in the wrecker and drives it forward, pulling the net back out of the water and out onto the bridge, where a passing semi runs over the sharks. As Tara, Eric, Ray, and Allison celebrate the dead sharks, Wyatt sees the trophy on some rocks nearby and goes to pick it up, only for a shark’s head to fall on him. 3 months later, Tara and Eric show up at Rays store to pick him up, leaving Wyatt, Ray’s new apprentice, to close up the shop. After they leave, Wyatt sees a commercial for a new shark movie, staring Jason London’s brother Jeremy. Suddenly, the woman from the tinder date enters the store and asks to use the phone and when she notices Wyatt’s eyepatch, she comments on it reminding her of Jason London’s character from the Shark Bite movies. Wyatt admits his love for them and the two start to bond.
So this was a decent movie but I feel like it could have been better. The acting was ok for the most part, with Cassie Steele (Tara), Tahj Vaughans (Eric) and Dean J. West (Wyatt) all doing good jobs in there roles. I also liked how Jason London played himself and kept telling people he wasn’t like his movie character, who was basically a caricature of the “typical action hero” that you would find in these movies. I also liked that Jeremy London was basically just taking over his brother’s role in his future movies. The story was pretty good, playing up on the stories of bull sharks making their way up the Mississippi River, at one point traveling all the way up to Illinois. Granted, the attacks in this movie were a little on the more fantastical side, such as the sharks being propelled onto the steamboat deck by the paddlewheel, but that was done for sheer entertainment value. I liked how they would use footage of real sharks in the water, instead of constantly using CGI sharks, but my only detraction of that is the footage being rather murky for the most part. Yes I know that it was due to where they were filming, but it was still a little annoying. The special effects felt a little on the cheap sides at times, such as when you get the massive blood splatter “on the camera”, but it still didn’t detract fro the entertainment value. Not the best movie but it is definitely one that is worth watching during a late night B-movie binge.
Rating: 3 out of 5