Monday, July 26, 2010

Movie Review: Red Water

Red Water
Rated R
1 Slime
Copyright Sony Pictures Television 2003

THE CHARACTERS

John Sanders: Lou Diamond Philips! A former oil rig employee, now almost bankrupt fisherman who goes with Kelli to check out the oil rig to see what the problem is with it. He tries to be the hero many times when confronting the bad guys, but he most of the time gets his butt whipped.

Dr. Kelli Raymond: Kristy Swanson! An ex-wife of John who works for Discovery oil company who wants to make sure the oil drilling in the wildlife preserve goes right. Plays the damsel in distress a lot of the time and the movie sure likes to point out how big her breasts are.

Emery Brousard: John’s friend and partner in the fishing business. Despite his appearance, he seems to be a very spiritual guy and believes the shark to be the physical form of the spirit of the river or some crap like that.

Hank Ellis: The oil rig manager for Discovery and is only there to be shark food.

Gene Bradley: Works with Kelli at Discovery and he is next in line to run the oil rig company. He is very ill-tempered and that’s what gets him killed. Ice shoots him the leg and he bleeds out.

Ice: Coolio! Some cousin of some Caribbean dude who goes to Louisiana to get the money from Jerry after it is lost. He is short tempered and blows the villains’ cover easily. The shark bites his head off.

Jerry Collins: Some random guy who owes Ice’s cousin a lot of money after he lost it in the buoy. He is roasted and toasted when John shoots the gas container on his boat.

Brett van Ryan: A shark hunter who is hired by Ice’s cousin to retrieve the money from Jerry. He seems to have a code of ethics and prefers not to kill anyone. Ice and Jerry stab him and feed him to the shark.

Bull Shark: A shark that just randomly drifts into a river and starts feeding on people. It could also be the river spirit protecting the area from oil companies and random treasure hunters, but I doubt it. It is also pretty damn hungry since it eats about 8 or more people over a course of 3 days. It’s killed by having the oil drill go straight its mouth.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ It is standard bank policy that if you miss too many payments, they’ll take your boat.
+ A bull shark pulls on a line, it pulls!
+ It is perfectly alright to drill for oil in areas where there is an abundance of natural gas.
+ Staying still while there is a hungry bull shark in the water usually convinces them not to attack and eat you.
+ Handguns can still shot after being underwater for an hour or so.
+ Boat Engines make very big explosions.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
2 min – Hey! A scene from Piranha!
4 min – You idiot! You swim for shore, not towards the raft from Creepshow 2!
7 min – Hey, the movie is taking it up a notch!
9 min – Who are you people, what are you talking about, and why is this important?!
14 min – I’m guessing from the crappy music that he is in love?
22 min – I bet 20 bucks he’s wrong.
23 min – Since we are focusing on that gas container, I’m guessing it’ll be important.
26 min – Dead man walking.
33 min – Hmm, were those last scenes of any importance.
38 min – That bridge is way too close to the water…
45 min – Hooray!
46 min – Did it just cut to a commercial?
52 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN OIL RIG!
54 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A RADIO!
59 min – Another commercial break?
66 min – That doesn’t explain the park employee.
81 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A BOAT! Also, I so knew that gas container would be of use.
83 min – He just so happens to know how a crane works?
85 min – So the boat explodes twice apparently.
86 min – Death by irony!
89 min – It is awesome!!!
90 min – Stupid fool.
Closing Credits – What kind of killer shark music is this?

NOTABLE QUOTES
Gene Bradley: God... It's like a scene from Deliverance.
John Sanders: Relax Gene, no one is going to make you squeal like a pig.
Kelli Raymond: Why do you always have to yank his chain?
John Sanders: Because he makes it to damn easy.

John Sanders: STAY STILL!?
Emery Brousard: He won’t think you’re prey!
John Sanders: [Sees the shark coming] STAY STILL?!

THE PLOT

Shark movies, do they ever get old? Yes they do. Having seen many of them, I can safely say without a doubt that they do get very tiring and very old after so many sharks exploding or arms being torn off of a person. So, will this movie be any different? Well, it stars Lou Diamond Philips, Coolio, the principal from Saved by the Bell, and first aired on TBS; so the answer already seems very obvious to us before we even begin. Yet, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and venture forth!

The film opens up at the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana where we see a company called Discovery drilling for oil in the middle of a national park. Where’s Captain Planet when you need him? So, as they are drilling, a shark pops out of nowhere. That was quick and speaking of which, a few moments, that shark attacks a bunch of people near possibly the old Piranha movie set. I haven’t seen a shark attack so early in a movie since the original Jaws so I’ll give the film a point for cutting the crap and getting straight to the point of why everyone watches shark movies.

After a woman gets killed in a later scene, we find our unlikely hero, John Sanders, who is having some money problems. Apparently, if he misses one more payment on something, a bank is going to take his boat from him. Also, we see some random Caribbean dude hiring out some shark hunter to find some guy named Jerry Collins who lost some his money in the swamps in Louisiana. He wants mister shark guy to find the money and take his cousin along, Ice. To save you the time, that scene was actually important because those characters will end up searching for the money in the swamp where the shark is hiding out in.

Then after a scene of grandfather getting killed in front of his grandson (Tasteful), John meets his ex-wife Dr. Kelli Raymond, who tells him from the seismic graphing or something that there is a lot of natural gas underneath the ground in area in the wildlife preserve where the oil drilling operation is. They apparently want John to help them do something about the oil drilling, but I’m not sure what. I can’t make sense of what they said. John decides to help her and her boss, Gene, after his fisherman buddy, Emery, talks him into it.

On another boat in the area, we see Jerry being harassed by Ice and some other dude called Brett (The shark hunter?) for the money. He says he doesn’t have it, but after some persuading, he’ll go look for it. To be honest, I’m not sure how these two plot points will come together.

The following day, our crew (John, Kelli, Emery, and Gene) head off to… I forget what they’re going to do. Regardless, Gene talks to Kelli below deck about his future plans for Discovery (His dad is the head of the company so he is next in line to run the joint) and how he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure the place succeed. He’s a goner. Also, the team gets permission to head up the river after it had been closed down due to the shark attacks.

Also, I must note that everything seems have been set into place now. The crew is heading into an area where no one will be, Gene had earlier lost his cell phone, there are those guys looking for the money in the area, and there is a shark on the loose. Everything has fallen into place like all other shark flicks.

After some pointless scenes, the characters hear about a legend a river spirit that protects the area and Emery reasons that the recent bull shark in the area could be the form the spirit takes. Please, we are already stretching the creditability of this movie with Coolio as an actor. Speaking of which, we see him and his crew searching for the lost money near the oil rig as our main characters arrive.

Somewhere else, the bull shark attacks a park employee who makes a big speech about kicking out the oil company and protecting the wildlife. You know, with this attack, we can easily throw out the river spirit possibility for the shark, since why would the river spirit kill someone who wants to protect the area from trouble?

The oil rig manager, Hank Ellis, tells the crew about how the oil rig can’t seem to pump out any oil, even though they are in the heart of vein. Kelli dives down to check and examine things, but ends up saving Brett after Jerry tries to kill him by putting a hole in his air tank. When Ice and Jerry head over to pick up Brett, Gene harasses them and orders the guys to leave. Of course, such levels of jackassness results in Gene getting shot in the leg by Ice.

The villains take over and make everybody (Including the oil rig crew) their captives. When they are about to kill them all, the alarm goes off on the rig, signaling that the pressure has gotten too high and it’ll explode. The bad guys let John, Hank, and the other members of the oil rig try to shut down the rig while they take off with the rest of the hostages. The rig blows up when the natural gas is released, killing the oil crew members, but John and Hank survive. With their deaths, John gets mad!

The rig is still somewhat okay condition despite the explosion, but they still need to shut off the valve so that no more of the gas comes out. Brett boards and captures the two men. They want them to shut off the valve for some reason, don’t know why, so Hank is forced to dive down into the water to shut it off. Of course, the shark appears from nowhere and gets him.

That night, the surviving heroes are held captive in the bow of John’s boat while the bad guys work on their next plan to get the money under the water while the shark is out there. Brett heads into the water armed with harpoons with dynamite attached to them. Well at least he knows the proper protocol for how to kill sharks. He lures the shark to him with his blood and shoots him a couple of times, but the dynamite never explodes, forcing him to retreat back to the boat. During this time, Gene dies from blood loss as well. Meh, I feel nothing.

John comes up with an escape plan, but it completely fails, wasting about 5 minutes of the movie. As such, the villains make Kelli and John swim for the money with Jerry going along with them to make sure they do their job. Like clockwork, the shark shows up and attacks John, dragging him off into the deeps somewhere, while Jerry finds the money. He takes Jerri and the money back to the boat.

Down below, John manages to escape since the shark had his air tank instead of him, but still gets bitten on the way out. Jerry and Ice kill Brett so they can split the money for themselves and plan on feeding Jerri and Emery to the shark, but John stops them. Jerri & Emery jump into the water as John shots the gas container on his boat, blowing it up and killing Jerry.

Okay, the boat doesn’t really blow up, just the top half, but it still knocks out Jerri. John heads abroad and rescues her as the engine explodes. This time the boat explodes for real! Meanwhile, Ice grabs the container with the money in it and makes an escape. However, the shark gets him quickly as you can imagine. One must wonder how many people a bull shark can eat in less than 72 hours, considering that every person it ate was a full grown adult.

In a very long scene, Emery activates the oil rig’s drill and uses it to drill straight through the shark when it tries to jump (?!?) at John. With the shark dead, John and Kelli kiss and John shows them the shark tooth that broke off when the shark bit him. John and Kelli pondered whether or not the reward for the shark (Earlier in the film, there was a $100,000 bounty on the shark) is still good. Emery suggests to them that spirit of the river should rest in peace and then John just throws the tooth into the river!

Okay sir that was a stupid decision on your part. That shark was not the spirit/guardian of the river, since it attacked people who were not trying to hurt the river or the wildlife at all. With the tooth gone, you can’t collect the money for the bounty and you can’t pay off your debts to the bank! Also John, you are not going to get paid for this job on checking out the oil rig since well, the rig is destroyed! You sir are a moron! The film closes with the sheriff showing up in a helicopter to check up on them.

That’s Red Water folks and to say the least, the film is completely unremarkable. There’s just nothing really special or bad about it that can separate itself from the rest of the shark flicks out there. The acting is boring or bad (See Coolio for that), the subplot about the gangsters and the money was boring, the main character was a wimp, the ending was terrible once you thought about it, and there were a couple of pointless scenes that really didn’t add anything to the film.

The biggest problem was the bull crap they use to explain the bull shark, saying it was some kind of guardian in physical form protecting the river. I went off about how the shark couldn’t be the spirit or whatever so I won’t explain it again. The film would be just fine if they just stuck with the idea that it was a bull shark that just accidently swam into the area and decided to stay.

I will say there are some good parts about this film that do make the film stand out a little. While the acting for everyone was pretty bad, Lou Diamond Phillips still gave a good performance given the material. The idea of using a shark that wasn’t a great white was cool as well. I will also give this film some more credit since the shark wasn’t completely CGI and they did use a mechanical shark for some scenes, so it wasn’t completely fake. Also, love that they killed the shark by using an oil drill. Points for creativity!

To sum up, the film is bad and bland, doing little to make it unique compare to rest of the shark films out there. There is just nothing to recommend here sadly despite a few alright things. Still, this movie isn’t completely horrible, which keeps it from failing.

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