Shark Swarm (2008)

shark-swarm-rlstvI would love to say that this is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, I really would, but when all is said and done, it’s really just a typically awful television movie with a three hour run time that is about as necessary as another killer shark movie. When I finished “Shark Swarm” I blamed myself for sitting through it, and I completely forgot about it once the credits rolled. Boring as piss, “Shark Swarm” is one of the most derivative of the killer animal movies with elements that don’t try to break the mold and instead just follow along with clichés incessantly bringing us through the motions until the finale. Sharks are traveling in swarms because well… we’re never given a real explanation.

There’s waste being put into the oceans of Full Moon Bay to prevent fishermen from making money, and there’s the inevitably convoluted hint of a discussion about the cause of sharks traveling swarms with a pseudo-ecological terrorist plot on the side of a millionaire looking to turn the struggling town into a massive condominium get away. What’s also never indicated is why he wants to turn the town into a getaway when he’s dumping the waste in to the very water he plans to market as safe in the long run. And there’s never indication if Armand Assante’s Hamilton Lux ever paid for his crimes, nor is there an indication if Lux was arrested and what became of the town. It’s pretty shocking to see a movie run three hours long and never provide any cogency or coherency to the overall scheme. It instead meanders back and forth between characters, and conflicts, and introduces a slew of cliché villains and plot elements all derivative of “Jaws” and “The Deep,” with a climax painfully reminiscent of “Jaws: The Revenge” with none of the tension or excitement.

For a self-described “nature run amok” film it’s severely lacking in nature running amok with our shark villains becoming only a secondary passive difficulty, while the writers display large focus on our aquatic pirates who are as about as threatening as your run of the mill soap opera villains who chuck bad dialogue around like it’s out of style. When the gimmick involving the sharks (you know, the main focus of the movie?) wears thin, we’re then thrown into an odd plot that takes heavily from “The Deep” with scenes almost pulled right out of the aforementioned title. It’s a lot to ask of audiences to sit through the last half especially when the villains are cartoonishly idiotic and mean for the sake of being mean. Take the hostage situation on their boat with their planned murdering of hero Schneider and heroine Hannah.

Rather than simply shooting the heroes, they engage them in a slow easily escapable death trap worthy of the Joker in the Adam West “Batman” series. Instead of shooting you right here and now, I’ll instead slowly drop you into the water in an easily escapable cage, and rather than ensuring you’re eaten, we’ll just forget about you and convince ourselves you’re dead. This Benchley wannabe never quite delivers on what it promises us. The shark attacks are very brief, the focus on nature is almost non-existent and the ultimate confrontation with the swarm is laughable. You can find better things to do on Memorial Day. Terrible performances, sub-grade special effects, a nonsensical and cliché plot, and a considerably lackluster series of villains brings “Shark Swarm” into the company of typically forgettable and lame Hallmark original movies that failed on being even the slightest bit of entertainment.