Raging Sharks (2005)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Corin Nemec, Vanessa Angel, Corbin Bernsen, Todd Jensen
Directed by Danny Lerner
Only Nu Image could make a shark movie that opens with a intergalactic alien starship exploding.
Yes, folks, a shark movie that opens with a not one, but two unidentified flying objects, floating about in deep space, including two alien creatures that appear to be the recycled costumes from previous Nu Image movies Alien Lockdown and Encrypt, that crash into one another and explode, sending a glowing drum soaring through the solar system until it enters our atmosphere and splashes down somewhere within the Bermuda Triangle, but not before smashing through a boat and blowing it up.
This preposterous opening sequence sets the tone for what's to come and what's to come is a shark movie that raises the bar for Jaws-inspired nonsense. Nonsense is the opportune word when describing the plot of Raging Sharks. This isn't just another Jaws knock-off. No, that would be too easy. Raging Sharks is actually a cinematic game of "Can you top this?" I'm hard-pressed to think of another movie that continuously goes to such ridiculous lengths to stretch out a premise as daffy as a submerged extraterrestrial object causing the local shark population to go on a killing spree.
Correction; it causes the combination of natural shark footage, computer generated shark footage, and prop shark footage to go on a killing spree. If you've seen any of Nu Image's previous shark movies - the Shark Attack trilogy (including the now legendary Shark Attack 3: Megalodon) and its equally moronic cousin Shark Zone - then you're already familiar with the company's tendency to rely on stock footage of actual sharks combined with new and recycled shark effects footage from their previous shark movies; and in the case of this film, explosions and submarine footage that was also clearly taken from other various Nu Image productions. It's mind numbing. It's mesmerizing. It's vintage Nu Image. You either hate it or you just go with it. But let me give you the scenario before I get ahead of myself.
Corin Nemec, who appears to be channeling Eric Stoltz in this one, and Vanessa Angel play married scientists that have spent the past decade ocean hopping with a ragtag bunch of one-dimensional misfits inside an underwater research lab called Oceania. Exactly what they research is a bit fuzzy but then it's not as if any of that really pertains to the plot. What matters is that Oceania is currently stationed somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, not too far from where that alien cylinder came down. Oh, it's also been five years since the alien cylinder splashed down. Exactly why it took the sharks five years to go nuts is another one of those fuzzy bits of information that’s sort of explained but not clearly enough for it to make any friggin’ sense.
When we first see Nemec, he's in the Oceania bickering with the wife unit about giving up the underwater research life in favor of dry land and raising a family. When we next see Nemec, he's driving around the city streets of, I believe, Miami. I forget exactly why he went topside or how he even got there but I suspect it had more to do with being necessary for the plot than any other legitimate reason. Most of what happens in this movie involving everyone and everything has more to do with it being necessary for the plot than having any coherent rhyme or reason and it’s all quite dizzying.
Nemec gets a call while cruising around town in his convertible informing him of trouble back at Oceania. You see, the local shark population – Angel claims it’s all types of sharks but Great Whites are all we ever see - has all of sudden decided to go psycho, killing two of their divers and chomping through various cables (Did these sharks not see what happened at the end of Jaws 2?) that includes the underwater lab's oxygen cable. Thus, the wife and the other more expendable characters are trapped underwater with only a limited supply of air. Nemec floors the accelerator and the next time we see him he's inside a nuclear submarine captained by Corbin Bernsen, who bemoans that his sub should only be used in a rescue mission like this as a last resort to which Nemec replies that this is the last resort despite the fact that we've only seen one other resort that was so ill conceived...
Tagging along on the sub is a government auditor that is such a needlessly smug, unpleasant prick that you just know he has shark bait written all over him. Not to mention the fact that...
No, I'm not going to spoil the surprise, but I'll just say that the third act of the film has less to do with sharks and more to do with him. As a matter of fact, the sharks pretty much take a smoke break for the last half hour of the movie, not reappearing until just the right moment when...
Halfway through the film, the sharks take a break from menacing the Oceania to head over to the Bermuda coast to devour some random swimmers. Why? Because they’re RAGING SHARKS! This scene makes even more sense come the end of the movie when Nemec declares that the sharks weren’t really out of control but actually protecting the mysterious alien object. Yes, protecting it from surfers and sunbathers a hundred mile away.
For crying out loud!
And then just when it seems like their rescue is imminent, the sub’s engines begin exploding FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER!
Do any of you watch the original "Star Trek"? Remember the Nomad episode? Remember that sentient space probe that was all about eradicating imperfection? Captain Kirk ended up defeating it by presenting it with a logical paradox that would indicate that it too was imperfect and therefore should destroy itself. In the end, Nomad began repeating "Does not compute" over and over again before self-destructing. Raging Sharks is such a paradox. We are Nomad.
As it keeps piling one screwy complication after another to make it harder for them to escape, usually requiring characters to have to venture out into the shark infested waters, Raging Sharks grows increasingly drunk on its own silliness, all the while keeping a straight face. This is the kind of movie that I would normally carve up like a Thanksgiving turkey by listing all the various moments of illogic and unanswered questions that make it impossible for you to even switch your brain off while watching. Normally, I would, but in this case, I can't. For both the sake of my own sanity and the fact that it would probably take me at least thirty some odd pages to accurately dissect the endless stream of absurdity, but mostly for the sake of my own sanity, I won't. Sorry, I just can't. It’s just one thing after another you’ll have to experience for yourself. Illogic exists at every turn. Clichés lurk around every corner. Stock footage explodes on the screen without warning.
And then there's the ending...Dear lord, the ending...After everything that had already come before it, they still found a way to come up with a climax that had me sitting there saying aloud, "No, no, no... This is not happening." But it was; it was happening. It was glorious. It was ludicrous. It didn't make one damn bit of sense. And then...
Does not compute!
Does not compute!
Does not compute!
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