Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Mega Shark vs. Meca-Shark
By: Brian Cotnoir
You know this blog wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t review at least one film that’s trying to rip off “Jaws”. It’s sort of becoming like a little tradition. Every year I have to review (or at least watch) one awful movie about a Shark and the ridiculous hi-jinks that ensue. In 2012, I reviewed “Sand Sharks”, in 2013 I reviewed “Piranha” (1978) and “Barracuda” (I saw “Sharknado”, but didn’t write a review because I felt like too many people had already reviewed it and I felt like had nothing new or original to say about it that hadn’t already been said).
The film I’m reviewing today is called “Mega Shark vs. Mecha-shark”. “Mega Shark vs. Mecha-Shark” is the 3rd film in the “Mega Shark” trilogy. I must admit I have not seen “Mega Shark vs. Octopus” yet, and I’ve only seen bits and pieces of “Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus”. The Mega Shark films were created and distributed by “The Asylum” film studios; the same film studio that gave us films like “Sharknado”, “Titanic II”, “Paranormal Entity”, and a bunch of knock-offs of well known big budget Hollywood Studio films. I would describe The Asylum film studios straight video works as this generation’s equivalent of Joe D’Amato Productions. In a way there films almost feel like poorly acted bootlegs of other more successful films. I’m not going to waste anymore of your time, let’s get check out “Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark”.
|It's soooooo realistic|
So the film opens up in the Port of Alexandria in Egypt. A Ship is hauling in a giant iceberg to help treat a drought in the area. As the ship spends more time in the warm desert waters, the iceberg begins to crack, and out from it emerges the giant megalodon. The once again freed megalodon proceeds to swat a tug boat out of the water and decapitates the sphinx. The megalodon goes on to wreak havoc in the world’s oceans, shutting down the sea trade and putting the entire world’s economy in jeopardy. The United States Navy is fed up with the massive and destructive megalodon and has created a equally as big mecha-shark to combat it. The mecha-shark can be piloted manually but also can be controlled by a computerized auto pilot named NERO. The mecha-shark tries to stop the megalodon, but it only ends up creating destruction. Torpedoes bounce of the megalodon’s skin and he swats them with his tail to sink submarines and battle ships. It isn’t until Professor MacNeill (played by Debbie Gibson) notices that the megalodon is on its way to Australia to look for a breeding partner do they have a way to track and corner the mega shark. Unfortunately for the U.S. Navy the mega-shark knocks the Mecha-shark into the Sydney Opera House, where it enters amphibious mode and goes on a citywide rampage. Now they have two big problems: the megalodon destroying everything it comes across in the ocean and the mech-shark running amuck in downtown Sydney. Now it’s up to our heroes to come up with a way to stop both destructive creatures.
All right, I know I shouldn’t nitpick ANYTHING released by “The Asylum” because most of their films would be categorized as “Mock-Busters”, but I honestly don’t feel like they tried very hard with this one. What I mean by that is almost everything they produce and release has a ridiculous premise (ex. A Tornado made up of sharks, a 500 MPH wind storm, a giant mechanical shark battling a massive prehistoric shark). It’s all done with terrible CGI that makes SYFY look like Pixar and always contains some D-List Celebrity. They have their filmmaking formula down to science, but yeah this one left me feeling pretty empty. At least with “Sharknado”—as bad as it was—it still had a ridiculous enough premise that kept me watching, and you can tell they were having a lot of fun making this film, but with “Mega Shark vs. Mecha-Shark” it just kind of feels like they gave up half-way through; like they felt it would be a good enough with what they had. Maybe it’s because it was a sequel or maybe because the mega shark engine finally ran out of steam, it just felt very bland.
I don’t want to waste too much time nitpicking the other flaws of the film, so I’ll just itemize a list here to save you some time.
1.) The Mecha-Shark seems like a much more complicated (and expensive solution to your problem). Why didn’t you just bait and nuke the megalodon, because I think the Mecha-Shark did 1000 times more damage than a nuke every could have done
2.) It’s so obvious that you were trying to make the voice of NERO sound like the voice of KIT from “Knight Rider”, so why didn’t you just hire William Daniels to do the voice? I mean seriously; you’ll shovel out money to have Debbie Gibson reprise a role, but you won’t pay William Daniels to read off of a script? What’s wrong with you?
3.) The Megalodon’s accuracy is too accurate. How the hell can it swat a tugboat in Alexandria that travels 134 miles to decapitate the Sphinx in Giza?
4.) When the film setting goes to Australia how come the U.S. Military outranks the Australian Military? Seriously, all Jack does is tell a soldier, “I’m with the United States Navy” and the soldier doesn’t even put up a fight, he just lays down and quits like a cowardly Frenchman. If I was an Australian soldier, I would be offended by the weak and cowardice portrayal from this film.
|Keep trying not quite Tony Todd|
The acting in the film I felt was decent, the only real critique I had was that I felt the actor playing Jack was trying too hard to sound like Clancy Brown meets Tony Todd, other than that, I can’t really think of anyone whose performance in the film was just meh. So what about this film? If I had to rank it, I’d say I liked it more than “Sharknado”, but I liked it less than “Sand Sharks”, and if I had seen both of its predecessor films, I think I would’ve enjoyed it more. As a film it’s okay, it’s nothing I would rush back to watch. The CGI is terrible, but that’s to be expected and I’ve seen worst. I think my best recommendation for you would be to binge watch all three films in a marathon (preferably with friends) and then never watch them again.