Shark Attack 3: Megalodon

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

It came from out of the past. You know how it is with these things. Just when you think things are going swimmingly, a forgotten monster turns up and plunges your life into disarray. Just when a starring role in Doctor Who has brought you international fame, along comes the giant shark movie you made when times were hard, to show fans that you and rubber monsters have a history.

There are, of course, a lot of giant shark movies to choose from these days, some more fun than others. This one does not represent giant swimming terror cinema at its most sophisticated. Indeed, it scarcely seems to have a single original idea, and in places whole scenes from Jaws are copied, accusations of plagiarism avoided by making the amended dialogue so bad nobody would ever want to lay claim to it. In places nobody seems to have bothered writing dialogue at all, leaving the actors (and I use that word hesitantly) with nothing to do but wave their arms, shout "Oh my god!" and, after an awkward pause, repeat.

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Barrowman is the only person here with anything verging on acting talent, and he does his best to hide it, adapting smoothly to the others' style of blank looks and awkward recitation. Fans will be pleased to note that he takes his shirt off a lot and wear tight-fitting wet suits, but that's about all that's on offer. There's also a bit of soft-core female nudity and a tendency for the camera to linger on Jenny McShane's breasts whenever the director runs out of ideas. Slightly more peculiar is the similar fetishisation of boat control panels, suggesting this is a geek film at heart, which just makes it more embarrassing that the techy side of the plot is so ham-fisted.

This revolves around the building of a set of undersea cables which, we are told, will revolutionise international communications, enabling people in different countries to talk to one another with ease. Yes, the big corporate bad guy, apparently unaware that other characters have been using the internet in this very film, apparently intends to make his fortune from something like the invention of the telegram. Anyway, these cables, oddly for fibreoptics, are leaking power, and this is attracting a population of outsize sharks previously thought to have been extinct for thousands of years. They're heading for the coast, and they're hungry. Except, as this plays out like an underwater version of Beowulf, we only actually get to meet two. Fortunately, the appearance of the second gives us one of the best moments of the film; to say more would be to ruin the surprise which is the only real reason for watching this.

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon threatens to give bad movies a bad name. Monsters and explosions and deadly peril should never be this wet.

Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2011
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A monster shark thought long extinct awakens off the California coast and starts munching tourists.
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Director: David Worth

Writer: Scott Devine, William Hooke

Starring: John Barrowman, Jenny McShane, Ryan Cutrona, Bashar Rahal

Year: 2002

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Israel, South Africa, US


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