Titanic II (2010)
Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Shane Van Dyke, Marie Westbrook, Bruce Davison, Brooke Burns, Michelle Glavan, Carey Van Dyke
Written and directed by Shane Van Dyke
On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the "Titanic" on its maiden voyage, a modern luxury liner christened "Titanic II" sets sail on its own maiden voyage. A huge chunk of a Greenland glacier collapses into the ocean, setting off an 800 mph tsunami that pushes an iceberg right into the ship and causing history to repeat itself. As the voyagers and crew attempt to abandon ship, an even more massive chunk of glacier collapses, unleashing a mega tsunami high enough to knock planes out of the sky heading straight for the already floundering "Titanic II".
It sounds like the makings of a deranged parody film. Titanic II is anything but. Nary a whiff of irony is to be found; this latest offering from The Asylum doesn't so much as wink at the audience. That approach is also what sinks Titanic II more so than any walls of water or blocks of ice. Take away the novelty of the "Titanic II" name, and you're left with a rather trite Poseidon Adventure-ish disaster flick made on the cheap. It's not good enough to be engrossing, nor is it made to be intentionally bad, and even as silly as the scenario is, none of it is ever quite silly enough to provide unintentional fun. Action and suspense are constantly hampered by the low budget and the special effects answer the question, "What would James Cameron's Titanic have been like if most of the digital effects looked like animation from a Wii cut scene?"
But wasn't so much of Titanic's success due to the love story? The rich douchebag (writer-director Shane Van Dyke; looking at him I'd swear he was related to Reb Brown, not Dick Van Dyke) with the audacity to build a luxury liner named "Titanic II" has the nerve to arrive on the ship on which his working class ex-girlfriend is employed as a nurse walking arm-in-arm with a harem of Tiger Woods' hand-me-downs; we're expected to buy him as the romantic hero when history goes for a twofer. He's really just a poor little rich kid at heart, bland as can be, still opining for that even blander girl from a lower social class. Her heart really belongs to daddy (old pro Bruce Davison, conveniently playing a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot determined to save his little girl from the sinking, and later exploding, ship). This romance was all wet even before the first tidal wave hit.
Assuming someone ever did have the gall to build a modern luxury liner and dub it "Titanic II", would you really want to take a trip on it? If nothing else, wouldn't you at least wait until it had its maiden run just to make absolute certain history didn't repeat itself? Maybe that explains why the extras playing the first passengers aboard for this lavish luxury liner designed to be the most extravagant on the planet look more like random tourists recruited from lines at SeaWorld than the upper crust of high society that set sail on the original in 1912.
Did I mention that Brooke Burns is also in the film? She is. Did I mention what her role is? That's because she doesn't have much of one.
Unless my mind was playing tricks on me, I'd swear the TITANIC II name kept disappearing and reappearing from the side of the ship's bow.
You know what bugged me the most about Titanic II? An 800 mph tsunami is cutting a swath across the Atlantic toward the US, followed by an even more devastating mega tsunami. So much focus on the plight of this one cruise ship and next to nothing is said about the catastrophic implications these waves could have on the Eastern seaboard of the United States and every poor island in between. I saw that episode of "Mega Disaster" on the History Channel about mega tsunamis, and let me assure you if such an event ever occurs, there are going to be greater tragedies awaiting us than the loss of a few hundred people aboard a luxury liner foolishly named after one of history's greatest tragedies. This to me is like making a movie about the peril of passengers trapped aboard a bus that has broken down on railroad tracks in the path of an oncoming Nazi train transporting Jews to Auschwitz; the greater devastation occurs when that train reaches its final destination, not the well-being of the people in the bus it hits on the way there.
For those of you wondering why this movie is being reviewed on Dread Central in the first place, I did a story about it several months back as a total goof because of how ridiculous the very notion of anyone making a Titanic II movie is. The trailer you see above went on to do over 170,000 hits. It's become something of a running joke behind the scenes at DC. A pity the punchline didn't prove more amusing.
1 1/2 out of 5
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