Monday, September 20, 2010

Movie Review: Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep

Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep
Rated R
2 Slimes
Copyright Nu Image Films 2006

THE CHARACTERS

Ray Reiter: An underwater photographer whose parents were killed by a giant squid when he was young. That’s sort of an interesting career choice after such a traumatic experience. He’s pretty unremarkable for a main character.

Nicole: An oceanographer who is checking out the sunken wrecks in Desolation Passage and is hoping to find a rare mask and opal in the sea. Somehow has the ability to survive a squid attack.

Michael: Cory Monteith! One of the team members that works for Nicole and he is the first witness of the killer squid in modern times. He gave the bad guys the coordinates to where the sunken ship is. He’s shot to death by one of Maxwell’s goons.

Sally: Michael’s girlfriend and a member of Nicole’s team. Randomly killed by the squid.

Maxwell Odemus: Some mafia/shady guy/pirate who wants the treasure in Desolation Passage and who I think is trying to do an impression of Christopher Walken. He is killed by the Kraken.

Kraken: A squid who is supposedly trying to protect the opal, but does a pretty lousy job of it because it constantly attacks and kills people who aren’t even after the opal for no reason. This thing can eat a lot, way more than how much could actually fit in its stomach. Killed by assault rifle fire from Ray.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Seals mess with underwater cameras all the time.
+ Squids growl and shriek.
+ Squids can change size.
+ Squids are very hungry creatures.
+ Squids have blue blood.
+ Being shot by an assault rifle does not mean you’ll have bullet holes in your body.
+ All shady dealers are required to wear black to distinguish themselves amongst from others.
+ The mafia is involved in deep sea dives.
+ Drinking and fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly.
+ The mob prefers the name Aristocrat Mafia.
+ Always bring assault rifles when you are treasure diving to keep others away from your find.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
0 min – I see the movie is trying to be clever.
2 min – You got to be s******g me.
5 min – 10 bucks says their dead meat. Making out in movies in never a good thing for characters to do.
10 min – Squid ahoy!
16 min – FREEZE FRAME! This movie is sponsored by Diet Pepsi.
21 min – For a killer squid, he’s not as big as I thought he would be.
28 min – Pepsi cans everywhere!
34 min – Dude! That girl just pulled the guy into the water for no reason!
39 min – Wait! They didn’t pay their bill. They can’t leave.
43 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A BOAT!
45 min – How is having your boat explode and having you discover a extremely rare treasure make you an embarrassment to an university?
51 min – This squid size keeps changing!
65 min – It looks like a giant Christmas tree light.
76 min – Now there’s a way to die.
82 min – Empty the whole clip!

NOTABLE QUOTES
Nicole: [Observing Mike kissing Sally’s neck] Don’t you have anything better to do?
Mike: No.

Ray: [About Maxwell and his team] Old friends?
Nicole: More like vultures.

THE PLOT

I have a bit of a beef with Nu Image Films being the studio behind this film. The reason is because the last time Nu Image was involved in a movie about a killer cephalopod, that movie really stunk to high heaven. Octopus 2 and not mention Octopus are some really crappy films so the fact that we are dealing with another tentacle monster film from this company immediately bothers me. Though I could be wrong… possibly.

Our film begins in 1982 at a place called Desolation Passage, where we see a couple making out on a boat in the middle of the night. They hear a strange sound and the guy checks it out while the woman checks on their son down below. Cue sea monster! The mom sees her husband, when she gets back on deck, being pulled into the water by a tentacle. Then in the most idiotic thing imaginable, the creature slightly hits the boat and the woman does a head over heels fall into the water somehow! How does that work?! Her son tries to rescue her by trying to hand her something to grab onto, but like most women in these movies, she pathetic grabbing and holding onto abilities and is such pulled under.

We jump ahead years later to present day where we see a scientist, Nicole, and her team checking out a sunken ship in the Desolation Passage. Using an underwater camera, they discover a ton of priceless treasures and are excited about the discovery. However, something starts messing with the camera and crew members try reel the camera back in. One of the members is killed during the process (It’s kind of hard to explain. You just need to see it to believe it) and his body falls into the sea, where it’s quickly snatched up by the killer squid.

Somewhere else, we see the boy from earlier, Ray Reiter, all grown up and hearing the news report about the squid attack. He goes to meet with the crew and joins them, hoping to get any more information on the squid. They head back to the sunken ship and Nicole dives down to it to check it for the treasure, with Ray behind her.

As she explores the ship, she recovers a mask, but is then attacked by the squid. Luckily, Ray manages to get her to safety, after discovering a dead body (Okay, it’s just a severed leg). Back on the boat, Nicole tells Ray about the mask and how there are only 3 of them in existence, with this being the only one left that hasn’t been sold on the black market. The Black Market: Providing you with any ancient mask you want since forever.

Speaking of said black market, we are introduced to Maxwell Odemus as our team reaches the shore after their dive. He and his cronies harass Nicole in the usual shady way a mafia member shakes someone down and walk off with a vague threat like every other stereotype mobster. I’m getting a strange Shark Swarm vibe off these guys and that’s not a good thing. Moving on the more interesting matters, the squid shows up and scares a couple of 20 somethings on a boat. In a bizarre move for one of them, a girl grabs the guy and latterly pulls into the water while she falls over. So far, this movie has the worst ‘fall into the water’ moments I have ever seen.

Also what is odd here is the squid changing sizes. The first scene had the squid bigger than a yacht, then when it pops up again it’s small enough to swim through the corridors of a sunken ship, and now it is the size of a small fishing boat! Make of your mind movie. How big is this thing?

During the night, Ray and Nicole go on a date (Such simple character development and stuff) while one of Nicole’s team members, Michael, meeting with one of Maxwell’s goons. Michael hands over a CD with information on the navigation points to where Nicole has been diving for treasure. Then the baddy goes off and blows up Nicole’s boat.

Nicole is heartbroken by this since she was so close to finding the treasure and the university won’t give her another boat to continue her hunt. Luckily, Ray jumps her rescue by buying a boat using his life savings and they are back in business for finding the rest of the treasure, a rare opal. The two of them discuss the opal as they head out to their diving spot and realize that everywhere the opal goes, there is a squid attack. Their theory is that the squid is the opal’s protector and yet, I’ll buy this theory more than the theory for the shark in Red Water.

Maxwell and his men head into Desolation Passage and start looking for the opal themselves. As you can imagine the squid starts chowing down on his men silently as Nicole’s crew arrive to begin their dive. Nicole and Ray head into the sunken ship and get the opal, while above the water Michael and Jenny, the other member of Nicole’s crew, is captured by Maxwell himself.

Nicole and Ray leave the ship and are confronted by both Maxwell’s team and the Kraken as well. The two of them make a swim for it as the squid slowly picks off the bad guys. You know, this squid ate 6 people in less than 24 hours. How much can a giant squid eat in that much time anyways? During the whole incident, Nicole and Ray get separated as the squid chases Ray into the sunken ship, trapping him.

Nicole is picked up by one of the goons Maxwell has and is brought aboard his ship. He has Michael killed and forces her to give up the golden mask she obtained earlier, because it is very valuable and is suppose to go along with the opal as well. As Maxwell is about to leave, the engine stalls and he is stuck out there. Ray manages to get to the boat (His boat has now been destroyed by the bad guys) and goes to rescue Nicole and Jenny. However, he is spotted by the last goon Maxwell has (everyone else was Kraken fodder) and starts getting the crap kicked out of him. His plan to save them would have gone off better if he didn’t start shouting to find them!

After a quick struggle, the squid grabs the goon and kills him, shoving its tentacle right through his head and mouth. Ray rescues the two girls, but Jenny is then held hostage by Maxwell. Nicole pleads to him to throw the opal into the water because the Kraken will just keep attacking them. Actually, it’ll just keep attacking Maxwell since he has the opal and not you, but then again the theory is out of the question since the squid just seems to kill everyone who isn’t even interested in the opal, including Ray’s parents and those teens from before.

Then the squid just randomly shows up and grabs Jenny & Maxwell, pulling them both into the water. And the point to kill Jenny was???? Why naturally to make only Nicole and Ray the survivor and have them get together over this tragedy like other movies. I never get the idea of leaving only 2 survivors, a guy and girl, alive so they can become close. It’s completely stupid and makes no sense. Who would want to be a couple or become romantic after all of this? If anything, I would be out of there because I wouldn’t want to see the last reminder of this horrifying time in my life. Also, this is now 9 people and a small boat the squid has eaten! Again, how much can a frickin’ squid eat?! It must have one hell of a digestive system.

Wait! I was wrong! The squid then grabs Nicole and pulls her under as well! That was different! Points for being original I suppose. With that, Ray is the last one standing and grabs an assault rifle (I don’t know why the bad guys have that onboard) and finishes the squid off when it climbs on board. That was a stupid move by the squid. He then leaves in the last life boat and runs into Nicole of all people as he leaves. Why is she still alive and how is she still alive. I’m getting more flashbacks, but this time to Jaws: The Revenge. The movie then ends as rescue comes to pick them up and we get a shot of the opal, which has fallen into sea, being surrounded by many baby squids.

I have good news to say. This movie is not as bad as its previous outings with these tentacle sea creatures, so that is a plus for certain for Nu Image Films for once. Still, we aren’t dealing with that good of a movie here. The acting isn’t memorable, the movie has way too many familiar elements from other movies (Some not so good), the CGI is bad for the squid, characters aren’t define well, a few things don’t make sense, and the movie is kind of boring too.

I will admit the story is alright; the underwater scenes looked good; and the monster attack scenes, while fake, are decent. This is a run of the mill Sci-Fi/Sy-Fy channel production that is a bit better than the usual and admittedly good for a killer squid/octopus movie. If you are looking for a film like that, I recommend this. However, if you want a good killer octopus/squid movie, I think you are better off with It Came from Beneath the Sea.

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