For movie critics, this is the time of the year when it seems like Satan has temporarily won his eternal battle with the hallowed Baby Jesus, and his evil influence has taken over our movie screens.
The summer movie season is over, and now I have to watch viciously bad movies for a few weeks before Satan gets pushed out of the cineplex and back into hell for Oscar season.
Shark Night 3D looks like potential fun on the surface, thanks to its title. It's got sharks, and sharks are cool. It's at night, supposedly, and that's kind of scary. It's in 3-D, which means there should be blood and teeth coming at your face.
Well, there are hardly any sharks in this thing. Sharks are onscreen for a total of about two minutes, and possibly less than that. And since the sharks are attacking at night, we can't see much of anything, because it's dark out.
As for the 3-D, the effects are dime-store terrible. There are no teeth coming at your face ... just a bunch of cartoon-looking crap effects that wouldn't scare a toddler.
Sara Paxton stars as The Girl Who Wears a Bikini. She apparently got the role for no other reason than she looks great—actually quite phenomenal—in that bikini. Props to the wardrobe person who found the bikini. It does wonderful things to her butt, accentuates her chest quite nicely, and is a very pleasant light-sky-blue color. She really didn't need to speak; she should have just stood around in her angelic bikini and distracted viewers from the rest of the movie.
Her character actually does have a name and—I guess—a purpose beyond standing around and causing a spike in sky-blue-bikini sales. She is named ... Sara (that's a stretch), and she takes her college friends to her lake house for a wild PG-13 weekend. Yes, Shark Night 3D pusses out with a PG-13 rating, so any of you who were hoping for some hard-core carnage and sweet nudity like in Piranha 3D can stop hoping. This flick is for squares.
Not long after their arrival, Malik (Sinqua Walls), one of Sara's guy pals, loses an arm during some waterskiing. While they are at a lake, it is a saltwater lake, so sharks can live in there if they damn well please. There are many types of sharks in the water, but we only see quick glimpses of them. CGI shots can be costly, so director David R. Ellis keeps them at a minimum and instead focuses on the Paxton-butt shots.
Malik, in one of the more unintentionally hilarious sequences, procures a harpoon and goes shark-hunting at night. The sharks ate his girlfriend while he was in his shark-attack-induced coma, so now he's pissed and out for revenge. Never mind that he probably lost all of his blood after losing his arm. Even better: He takes the time to put on a hoodie before wading out into the lake. This is, of course, to obscure his lost arm—an arm you can clearly see tucked under the sweatshirt. Again, Ellis needs to keep those CGI shots at a minimum, and Malik's missing arm would require CGI.
As it turns out, the sharks are in the water because they were placed there by—you guessed it—evil Louisiana rednecks. They figure footage of people getting eaten by sharks will command big money on the black market, and they've attached cameras to the sharks in the hopes of capturing some bloody footage for their own version of Faces of Death, those old videos that supposedly showed real people dying.
And that's your plot: Evil rednecks have put sharks in the lake (a process that's never really explained) and attached hi-tech video gear to the beasts in the hopes that hot young adults will get eaten on camera. Did I just do a big plot reveal and potentially ruin the film so you don't need to see it? Yes, I did. You can thank me later. Send me cookies or something.
I know what you are saying: "Hey Mr. Jaded Late-Summer-Movie Critic, this sounds like appropriately stupid stuff that's meant to be empty-headed B-movie fare. You should just let up and put your brain on hold while watching this sort of thing."
My response: Shark Night 3D is stupid boring as opposed to stupid fun.
Fine. Don't believe me. Go support this film, and allow Satan to continue his horrifying late-summer reign.