So I thought, because I had enjoyed “Piranha 3D,” I might going to enjoy another movie about deadly sea creatures as well. Wrong. The biggest problem with “Shark Night 3D” is that unlike “Piranha 3D,” it takes itself too seriously. This movie tried to put characters into a story that shouldn’t be taken with a more than a generous dose of fun and ridicule. “Piranha 3D” was fun because it wants you to have fun. That’s why they taped that Jerry O’Connell’s last line there. Besides, with a PG-13 rating, no nudity or gore from this movie that makes it into a “movie so bad it’s good” category. It’s just bad.
Yay! High schoolers! Off to a secluded lake house where they what else? Turns into a fodder for hungry sharks of the lake (it’s a salt-water lake, according to the movie. Don’t even ask). What? No nudity? Relatively tame gore? Not even a decent 3D effect even if it has an audacity to put “3D” on its title? Well, I’ll be.
For me, personally, this kind of movie should be treated in one way and one way only. Go all the way to R rating. Gunning for a PG-13 in hopes to attract broader viewers is a high-risk bet. At the very least, if it was going for a R rating, there’s a significant possibility that it is going to attain a cult status. As it were, with a PG-13 rating, there’s no way that this movie could become a cult favorite.
I went into this movie to have fun and I don’t have it. Centered around an utterly forgettable character, Sara (Sara Paxton) whose lake house belongs to her family, this movie spends most of its opening scene mucking around trying to build its characters. You know what, I don’t care. So Sara has a past? And there’s these shady characters who tried to emits a smoke of mystery with opening lines such as, “it’s been three years, Sara.” Again, I don’t care. They had nothing to do with sharks, and already deviated from my intention of going to this movie in the first place. See, I want these high schoolers to be eaten by sharks. Pronto. It’s that too much to ask? With such a cheesy title, how could they make me wait for nearly half a movie to get the actual fun rollings?
The movie tried hard to put a mystery, drama, and tried to build its characters. Alas, these hard works doesn’t reflected on the resulting dialogs. They are as cheesy as it should be, and felt so very much out of place. In short, first impression is everything. Initially, with a title like “Shark Night 3D,” it’s hard to take the movie seriously. I went into this movie, hoping I’d get such a “movie so bad it’s good” in the vein of “Piranha 3D.” Only later had I found out that this film is a PG-13 and contrary to its suggested intention, it does not want to be treated as a “movie so bad it’s good.” It wanted to be treated with respect, with a little bit of an attention by throwing some ‘story’ and characterizations. Well, this movie didn’t screened for critics, so there, respect, you’re out. There’s actually a “fun” part of this movie. But you have to suffer through four minutes of ending credits to see it. Even that, it’s probably not “fun” as in a real fun, more like a pathetic fun. You know what, I sit corrected, don’t even bother. It’s pathetic.
The characters are utterly forgettable. I don’t remember anyone from this movie at all except for its politically correct gender and race mixes. I only remembered Sara because she has a significant amount of screen time, and because she’s a character named “Sara” played by Sara Paxton. Classic. I don’t even know that Katherine McPhee was in this movie at all. Conclusion, don’t even bother to watch this movie. Not even its bootlegged version. Go out, play with your kids, read a book, make a better use of that two hours of your time. Anything will do. Even sleeping.
And don’t even compared it to “Jaws.” There’s only one definitive movie about shark out there. For all I know, this movie is by far, the bottom feeder of any movie that featured Sharks.