Shark Night 3D boasts semi-entertaining mayhem
Starring Sara Paxton, Katharine McPhee, and Joel David Moore. Rated 14A.
The best thing about last summer’s Piranha 3D was the part where a guy gets his dick chomped off before two fierce fishies fight over the mangled member. Nothing quite that memorable happens in the less impressive Shark Night 3D—maybe due to its milder rating—but just like Alexandre Aja’s underwater gore fest, it starts off really lame before redeeming itself by ramping up the sick stuff.
Director and former stuntman David R. Ellis kills a lot of time in SN3D introducing obvious shark bait like annoying college hipster Gordon (the annoying Joel David Moore). By the time the film’s stereotypical gaggle of nerds, jocks, and hotties have been rounded up for a weekend on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, their personality traits have already identified those most likely to feel the teeth.
The seven partiers hop into an SUV and head off to a gorgeous lake house owned by the parents of goody two-shoes Sara (Sara Paxton) but are confronted enroute by two badass rednecks, one of whom shares a mysterious past with Sara.
Things finally pick up when Malik (Sinqua Walls) goes water-skiiing and his fancy spins and jumps draw the unwanted attentions of a Jaws-sized predator. From then on, questionable screenwriters Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg are kept busy devising semi-entertaining ways to incorporate Jet Skis, life preservers, and speedboats into the schlocky, low-rent mayhem.
A plot twist involving the evil that men do helps Shark Night 3D rise ever so slightly above your average animal-rampage flick, even with the numbing scarcity of decent shocks and worthwhile 3-D effects. The most disturbing sequence comes after the end credits, actually, when the actors are shown performing together on a really bad rap video. Clearly, there are some things more distressing than a fin cutting the water.