Sharktopus

ON

Available on DVD, Blu-Ray March 15

Cast:

Eric Roberts as Nathan Sands

Sara Malakul Lane as Nicole

Kerem Bursin as Andy

Liv Boughn as Stacey

Hector Jimenez as Bones

Directed by Declan O’Brien

Review:

When I talked to producer Roger Corman about Sharktopus, which originally aired on Syfy last year, he stated that they only asked you to suspend disbelief once, with the existence of the titular creature. Other than that, he said, everything in the movie was not beyond the realm of possibility. And it’s probably true that if a sharktopus was somehow created, it would eat everything in sight and leave a trail of destruction.

Picking up after the creature is created by Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) to function as a super weapon for the United States Navy, sharktopus’s first victim is a large shark bearing down on a beautiful young beachgoer. But the Navy wants to see it in action, doing what it was created to do, which is hunt down drug runners and pirates and go places the Navy can’t. Hopefully members of the Navy watch Syfy.

Of course, something immediately goes wrong. The ankle bracelet-like device that allows the scientists to control everything that sharktopus does is all too easily knocked loose by a small boat. Sharktopus is free, and like any smart being, he heads straight for Puerto Vallarta. Sands, his daughter Nicole (Sara Malakul Lane), mercenary Andy (Kerem Bursin) and a ragtag group around to serve as victims quickly make their way to Mexico to stop it.

There are no surprises with movies like Sharktopus. You get what you expect, nothing more and nothing less. There’s a fair share of goofy fun to be had here. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and provides both intentional and unintentional laughs. Highlights of the latter includes dialogue like “the sharktopus wants our virgins” and “Oh no! Not like this” as the creature devours a hapless victim.

It is also a blast whenever the beast shows up on land, walking awkwardly on its tentacles. There are some good, bloody kills (though the CGI is expectedly shoddy and it’s often hard to see the action) and Roberts clearly realizes this is not The Dark Knight.

Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of filler and the second half drags at times. A subplot with an obnoxious, ethically challenged reporter is pretty useless, and there are so many attacks on random characters, they start to blur and become tedious. It’s also unfortunate that no explanation is given for the initial creation, nor do we see it created. In a movie called Sharktopus, I want to see the birth, however ridiculous.

Finally, I know this was for Syfy, but sometimes the total lack of sense becomes annoying. Despite the creature’s massive killing spree of Americans, not a single law enforcement officer is ever seen on screen, and the only military we ever see is a commander in charge of Sands. And speaking of Sands, he is desperate to keep the beast alive whatever the cost, but for reasons never explained he doesn’t join the hunt and allows someone he doesn’t trust to lead the chase.

None of that would matter if it fully embraced its goofiness and spent more time on land attacks and general half shark/half octopus craziness and less on lame secondary characters and a forced romance. Like a lot of these movies, it’s occasionally entertaining but not as absurdly awesome as it could be.