3D. We must make every movie in 3D, no matter how bad of a movie it might be. Don’t get me wrong, when I heard about this movie, I was on board with watching it. But then I heard that it was going to be PG-13, which actually caused me to hold off on seeing it in theaters. I wound up eventually watching it on Netflix a while back and decided to pick it up during a shark movie buying binge on Amazon. The question still remains, was it worth it for me to buy Shark Night? Only time will tell.
The plot: On Lake Crosby, a couple are fooling around in the water but when they guy heads to shore and goes into their camper, the girl is attacked and killed by something in the lake. At Tulane University, Malik heads to the dorm room of his tutor Nick and yells at him about how he needed to get a C to keep his scholarship but as Nick fears the worst, Malik shows him that he got a B+ on his final, revealing that he was just messing with Nick. Malik hugs Nick and then says that as payment for helping him, he is inviting Nick and his roommate Gordon to go out on Lake Crosby this weekend and when Nick starts to refuse, Malik tells him that they are staying at Sara’s parent’s lake house, knowing Nick will go as he has a crush on Sara. The three friends, along with Malik’s girlfriend Maya, Sara, Beth, and Blake pile into Maya’s SUV and head out to the lake. The group stop at a bait shop at the edge of the lake to get some supplies and Sara tells everyone that their cell phones won’t work on the lake. While most of the group head into the store, Malik and Maya are moving some of their bags around in the SUV when a truck pulls up next to them and the passenger gets out and insults Maya. Malik grabs the man and threatens to hit him when the driver interjects himself into the argument. When Sara sees what is going on, she recognizes the man as her ex-boyfriend Dennis and Dennis is surprised to see Sara back in town and says it is just a misunderstanding and that his friend Red has had too much to drink already. The group head to the dock and get on Sara’s boat and head out onto the lake towards the island where her parent’s lake house is. Along the way, they are pursued by Sheriff Sabin, who says hi to Sara and the kids and says he will drop by the next day to bring over the mail like Sara’s mom asked. The group start having fun on the lake and Nick asks Malik about Sara and if she is dating anyone but Malik tells him that in the three years he has known her, he hasn’t seen her date anyone and all she does is hang out with her dog Sherman. Nick, Blake, and Maya go out on the boat while Malik is wakeboarding behind them but as they get close to the dock, something bumps into Malik and knocks him off the board. Nick circles around to try and find him and they see him swimming towards shore but when he gets on shore, they find his arm has been bitten off. Nick, who is a pre-med student, works on stabilizing Malik and then dives into the water to retrieve Malik’s arm but as he grabs it, he sees a shark swimming in the distance and quickly swims back to the dock. Nick, Sara, and Maya put Malik in the boat, with his arm being placed in a cooler, and they head out to take Malik to the hospital but the blood from Malik’s wound drips out the boat drain and attracts a shark, which starts hitting the boat. Maya is knocked out of the boat and Nick throws a life preserver to her and they try to drag her back to shore but the shark kills her. The shark then attacks the boat, damaging the steering and throttle, and Nick, Sara, and Malik are forced to jump to safety as the boat crashes into the dock. With no communication to the outside, Gordon uses a flare gun from the house to try and signal for help and eventually, Dennis and Red show up in their boat. The two start insulting the group but when they find out what happened, they say they will head back to the harbor and get a helicopter to medevac Malik to the hospital and Beth and Gordon decide to go with them but after they get out in the middle of the lake, Dennis and Red reveal that they were the ones to put the sharks into the lake. Back on the island, Malik learns of Maya’s death and, grabbing a harpoon, he heads out into the lake intent on killing the shark. His blood attracts a hammerhead shark and, with Nick’s help, he is able to kill it but as they pull the shark to shore, Nick finds a camera attached to it. Meanwhile, Dennis tells Gordon to get in the water, and when he refuses, Dennis shoots him in the shoulder and the impact knocks him into the water. Gordon swims to a nearby Cypress tree and tries to climb it to safety but a bull shark leaps out of the water to drag him back into the water and kill him. Back on the island, Blake decides to use the jet ski to take Malik to the hospital but as they are heading across the lake, Malik sees a shark approaching behind them. Malik falls into the water, choosing to sacrifice himself to the shark to save Blake but Blake is still killed when a great white leaps out of the water and kills him. Meanwhile, Dennis and Red force Beth to strip down to her underwear and knock her into a netted off area filled with cookiecutter sharks, with Red filming as the sharks kill her. Back on the island, Nick asks Sara about why she hasn’t been back to the island in 3 years and she explains that she had dated Dennis years ago but when she chose to go to college, she broke up with him. Dennis didn’t take it well and suggested they go on one last dive together but when she had trouble breathing, she signaled for help but Dennis refused. Sara managed to make it back to the surface and onto the boat but as she steered it back to shore, planning on leaving him out there, she accidentally hit his face with the propeller. Sabin arrives on the island, having seen the bonfire, and when he sees the shark on the beach, he uses his radio to try and call for help. When Nick passes out, Sabin and Sara carry him to the couch and Sabin says that he probably passed out due to all the stress. Sara goes to get a compress for Nick and hears Red talking on Sabin’s radio, realizing that they are working together. Sara goes to attack Sabin but Dennis grabs her and knocks her out. When Nick comes too, he finds himself tied to a chair, with Sabin preparing to feed him to a pair of tiger sharks. As Nick struggles to get free, he knocks over some gasoline in the boat house and, after using a lighter to burn through his restraints, he sets the gasoline on fire and burns Sabin, who is forced to jump in the water and gets killed by the tiger sharks. On their boat, Dennis has placed Sara into a cage and radios to Carl, the owner of the bait shop, to release a second great white into the lake. Nick swims out and holds Red hostage while telling Dennis to free Sara but Dennis kills Red, then attacks Nick. Nick manages to shoot Dennis and knock him into the water, then goes to raise the cage out of the water but Dennis climbs onto the cage and pulls the pin, causing it to drop free of the winch and into the water. Nick grabs a bang stick and dives in to rescue Sara but Dennis attacks him. Sara grabs Dennis and manages to tie him to the cage, then flicks him off as the great white charges and eats him. The great white starts attacking the cage to get at Sara but Nick manages to kill it with the bang stick, then brings Sara back onto the boat and performs mouth to mouth in order to revive her. After she comes too, Sara kisses Nick and thanks him as they stare out at the lake, where another great white is shown to be leaping out of the water.
Shark Night was panned by the critics, holding an 18% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A joyless excursion into the water that doesn’t even produce good gore or nudity thanks to the neutered PG-13 rating.” The animatronic sharks in this movie were created by Edge Innovations, the same company that created the sharks used in Deep Blue Sea, Austin Powers In Goldmember, and the orca for Free Willy. Despite the poor reviews, the movie did make a slight profit at the theaters, earning $40.1 million off of a $25 million budget.
Ok, so this wasn’t the best movie in the world. In fact, it was about what I expected it to be; a watered down movie with a few decent pops but a pale mockery of what it could have been. The acting was ok, with Dustin Milligan (Nick), Chris Carmack (Dennis) and Donal Logue (Sabin) doing the best jobs while everyone else was honestly pretty forgettable. The basic plot was pretty interesting but there were a lot of problems with it, primarily how they were able to keep the sharks relatively corralled in the lake in the areas they wanted them to be. The other big problem with this movie was that it really needed to be Rated R, as the PG-13 rating toned down what they could do to the point that it made the movie more laughable than scary. There were several time where the sharks looked reasonably realistic but the 3D formatting didn’t always help matters and in some ways made them seem even more fake than they already did. It might be worth watching if your bored and it comes on late one night, but there are better movies out there, ones that didn’t get the opportunity to hit the big screen, which are much more entertaining.
Rating: 2 out of 5