Monday, June 14, 2010

Movie Review: Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus

Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus
Unrated
1 Slime
Copyright The Asylum 2009

THE CHARACTERS

Emma MacNeil: Debbie Gibson! A marine biologist who comes up with stupid ideas after having sex or has brilliant ideas after having nightmares. Comes up with the brilliant plan of trying to capture the beasts alive in the San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay area, no doubt costing tons of people’s deaths.

Allan Baxter: Lorenzo Lamas! An arrogant, thin looking Steven Segal army commander, who is a huge jackass and a bit of a racist. Does rash things and causes lots of people’s deaths. Unlike what happens to these type of people in movies, he does not die.

Seiji Shimada: A Japanese scientist who is investigating the recent sea creature attacks. He falls in love with Emma and they do it in a supply closet. I hope they cleaned up after themselves.

Lamar Sanders: A former marine who was Emma’s college professor who looks and sounds a lot like Sean Connery for some reason. He is quite an accomplished submarine pilot.

Mega Shark: An ancient Megalodon who awakens after the glacier he is trapped in breaks. He goes on a rampage, destroying battleships and airplanes. He and octopus fight each other to the death back where they were frozen.

Giant Octopus: A huge octopus that wakes up after being frozen in a glacier. He doesn’t get a lot of the screen time in compared with the shark for some reason. He and the shark fight each other to the death back where they were frozen.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Sonar experiments and whales do not mix.
+ Mega shark teeth are surprisingly small.
+ Blood looks like red Kool-Aid.
+ Pheromones are green.
+ A 50 ton shark can leap into the air over 500m.
+ Sex equals scientific plans.
+ Sharks and octopi look the same on thermal radars.
+ Giant creatures can be frozen during mid-combat.
+ Some people are not ment to be submarine pilots.
+ Octopi can growl.
+ A shark’s diet includes octopus, battleships, bridges, and the occasional airliner.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
3 min – So many sharks and yet none of them mega sized enough for this film.
4 min – That’s a pretty fake looking computer panel for a submarine.
9 min – Oh my god! Bad CGI tentacles! THE HORROR!
15 min – I would suspect the tooth would be bigger for a mega shark.
18 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER!
27 min – Guys: Gees, can’t you tell from the vague image?
33 min – Translation: You guys failed big time so now you are desperate for anything type of help.
35 min – I’m going to have to agree with the racist on this. Kill these monsters!!!
44 min – You people are idiots. That is the shape of frickin’ octopus!!
45 min – *Laughs* Even though his plane exploded, he is still screaming no.
53 min – Wait a minute that is the same set for the battleship that was destroyed earlier!
55 min – The amount of traffic on the bridge changed between scenes!
68 min – They’re reusing the same CGI footage. Why am I not surprised?
71 min – For a Japanese crew, they don’t speak much Japanese.
79 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A SUBMARINE!
88 min – Huh, I was hoping for a long fight.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Lamar Sanders: Those guys have been frozen in ice for millions of years. Wouldn't you be a little horny?

Allan Baxter: Listen, screw these environmentalists. When I give the order shoot to kill!

Allan Baxter: This is unacceptable. I want that commander on report.
US Sub Captain: That commander just saved your ass.
Allan Baxter: Should have done so in a more timely manner.

THE PLOT

Admit it. The title alone caught your attention didn’t it? I’ll admit it did for me and that’s basically why I own a copy of the movie alone. However, as awesome and cheesy as this title is, do you think this film could be any good? Well I have a bad feeling about this, especially since there is only one sentence describing the movie on the back of the DVD.

After the opening credits, we are ourselves at the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, where we find Emma MacNeil studying humpback whales in a submarine. However, above the surface, a helicopter drops in an experimental sonar transmitter to the water to test it out. Like all scientific tests and experiments done by the U.S. in films, it all goes horribly wrong. The sonar causes the whales to go kooky and they start ramming a glacier wall. For some odd reason then, the helicopter crashes into the glacier as well. Why? I have no clue, but it causes big trouble none the less.

The combined ramming and explosion on the glacier frees to large very large monsters, aka the mega shark and giant octopus. Like any freed monsters, they start going on a rampage! After a disjointed attack on an oil rig near Japan, Emma is called to investigate a sudden appearance of a dead whale on a beach in California. After examining the wounds on it, Emma concludes that whatever killed the whale was organic. I’m guessing the shark since it seems pretty obvious between the two monsters.

Her boss, on the other hand, refuses to listen to her since that sub took to study the whales was damaged and she wasn’t allowed to have the sub in the first place. Then why call her out there in the first place? Though, she does manage to collect a shark tooth (Pretty small for the size of the shark). Somewhere else, a rig worker is being integrated by Dr. Seiji Shimada about the oil rig disaster. Apparently, the Japanese are trying to keep it quiet, though it beats the hell out of me why they want to keep it quiet.

Above the Pacific, the mega shark makes it appearance by taking out a commercial airline right out of the sky. As cool as that is, it baffles me a bit. Considering how large the shark is and how high the jump it would have to make; is it possible for Jaws here to leap out of the water that high? There’s a fun science problem to figure out.

After being canned from her job, Emma goes to her old college professor named Lamar Sanders to show him the shark tooth she got. He does some examination of it and concludes that the tooth is from a Megalodon. Seiji then comes to visit the two of them, asking for their help on what attacked the oil rig. They present their findings to him, but he says that the oil rig damage wouldn’t match up with what a Megalodon would do to it. They then review a video tape from the sub Emma was on early and discover both the mega shark and giant octopus on it.

Back out at sea, a U.S. destroyer trying to take out the mega shark using their cannons and guns. Really stupid, considering the only thing above the water is the dorsal fin and they are using their deck guns. Since it is so obvious, the shark destroys the destroyer. Okay, we never see it, but considering the special effects, it is probably best we didn’t see it because it would have been a laugh riot.

The military officials then kidnap the three and bring them to Allan Baxter, a racist government official who wants their help in destroying the beasts. However, the three scientists here want to contain the beasts and do not want them destroyed. ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR MINDS?! Haven’t you ever watched a monster movie or have you even noticed the tragedies these things cost? Hundreds of people are dead, more will follow, it will be extremely hard to capture and contain them, just how much will it cost to feed them, and how many ecological systems will have to destroy to sustain them! ARGH!

Of course, Allan agrees to it (You moron) and the scientists work on a way to lure the monsters and keep them contained in their respective areas they plan on using (Aka San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay). Also, Emma and Seiji hump in a broom closet. First, eww… Second, we have more important things to worry about. Third, just why?

Anyways, the scientists come up with a plan to lure each of the monsters into an area using pheromones. Seiji goes to Japan to capture the octopus, while Lamar and Emma work on getting the shark. The two scientists lure in the mega shark, but Allan decides to screw them and has a ship open fire on the shark as it is coming into the bay. The ship does that using the deck guns (Again with the deck guns!), but of course, that does not work at all and shark eats the ship. It also takes a big old bite out of the Golden Gate Bridge and the shark swims off.

Allan contacts Seiji in Tokyo and finds out they only made the octopus angrier when they tried to capture it. So with the two monsters gone, it’s time to play the blame game! Emma and Lamar blame Allan for messing up and causing so much destruction, but I just have to scream at the screen at that notion. While he may have made the shark angrier, it wasn’t his bright idea to bring the frickin’ monsters into areas with people are living! I want to punch these scientists.

Allan then suggests that they use nukes to blow up the monsters since no weapon (Alright, just deck guns on a battleship) seem to do any damage. Of course, the scientists oppose the plan since it would cause damage to the underwater ecosystems, hundreds of people dead, and tsunamis. You know, sort of like what of happen if their own plan worked to lure the monsters and keep them trapped in the bays. Ugh, I'm watching a movie full of idiots!

So the scientists come up with a plan that actually sounds pretty good. They plan on using the pheromones to lure the two beasts together so that they can fight each other to the death. Since they were frozen in mid-combat when they were first found seems to mean that there is a likely chance that they’ll fight each other once they run back into each other. They get into submarines and lure the monsters towards the North Pacific Ocean, back to where they were first unfrozen.

The American sub with Allan, Emma, and Lamar get the shark and octopus’ attention and lure them into a fight. The two beasts duke it out, but end getting separated during the fight. The shark then attacks the American sub, biting it in two, though our team makes it off the sub in time. The team are about to be eaten, but the Japanese sub with Seiji show up to distract the shark and then octopus pops up out of nowhere and attacks them! Where did he go?

After finishing with the sub, the octopus goes after the shark and they once again start fighting each other. In a very confusing and hard to follow fight scene, the two colossal sea beasts die and sink to the bottom of the sea. How they die? I have no idea. The film ends then with the Japanese sub reporting in that they are still alive and the scientists heading to the North Sea to check out some of strange organic life there. Maybe they’ll find Ultra Whale and Super Squid there frozen in ice as well.

Looking at the description on the back of the DVD, it says: “The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the sea.” Like Kong Island, that is a load of crap. Only the shark visits the California coast and the two monsters only really fight each other at the very end of the film, but only as bitter enemies and not for rule of the sea. Stupid DVD description.

The film has a bunch of problems that really boggle it down. For one, the acting is average at best. Some performances are alright, while the rest are unremarkable. Most of the main characters are unlikeable, which includes the shark and octopus as well, and almost every character in the movie, main or one shot, do a lot of idiotic decisions that makes me wish that I could slap them. The effects are pretty bad, even by CGI standards, with reuse of the same scenes over and over. The major nail though is the amount of screen time the shark and octopus get. Including the reuse of old scenes, the film doesn’t even give the title monsters 10 minutes of appearing in the film.

Despite some the failings, there are still redeeming qualities to this film. First of all, the soundtrack was pretty good. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but it is still fine. A bunch of scenes are so bad that they are good, like the part where the shark jumps and takes down a plane. The CGI octopus was pretty decent and didn’t really look fake when it moved, unlike the shark. Also, the story was alright and the premise in general sounds like it fun time for people who like cheesy stuff.

The film has many problems, but not enough to completely fail it. However, this is a hard sell, even to fans of bad shark or monster films or b-movies in general. If you have to watch it, it won’t hurt you, but if you have a choice to avoid it, then do so. Not really worth the time overall.

1 comment:

  1. When I was in college in the late 80s I did a geology report on a place called Sharktooth Hill (it's in California). It's littered with megalodon teeth! Because I did this report, I have a soft spot for any film featuring a gigantic, prehistoric shark.

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