The shame consumes me as, at least for the purposes for the blog collab, we forgot about the most important summer holiday: Shark Week. Better late than never?
Planet of the Sharks
The Uncondensed Version:
This one is a SyFy original giving the all-important shark genre a dystopian setting and topical global warming commentary, so you know it’s going to be good.
In the future, humanity has fucked up…to the utter astonishment of no one. Predictably, people waited until the entire surface of the Earth was underwater before coming up with constructive ways to combat global warming. As a result, people live in giant floating cities primarily constructed from recycled debris. Not an ideal situation to begin with…but it’s about to get better when we throw swarms of sharks controlled by electromagnetic pulses into the mix. Seriously.
For whatever reason, we follow the sole survivor of a shark attack that wipes out her, er, city(?) when the double whammy of sharks + random explosions strikes. I think we’re supposed to feel at least some sympathy for this girl, but it’s difficult to even remember her name (which I don’t) when she has something like 2 lines of dialogue in the entire movie.
After this girl is saved when the closest floating city sees a distress flare, scientists try to determine what is happening and how it could impact their current project. So you’re aware–their current project involves launching a rocket into the atmosphere to destroy the C02 that has led to global warming. One rocket is supposed to reverse decades of C02 emissions and pollution that has flooded the entire goddamn planet…? Rather irritatingly, there’s quiet a lot of science-splaining that pretends to be smart but is really just spewing a bunch of nonsense.
So anyway…the lead shark glows for some reason and is able to control the rest of the sharks for human destroying purposes. This has the power to doom humanity completely as any chance of launching a miracle C02 blasting rocket could be in jeopardy due to shark attacks.
The scientists try to recruit the help of the largest floating city around, Salvation, to defeat the sharks and launch the rockets. Unfortunately, their leader is too much of a badass to believe her city could be taken down by sharks. Her indeterminate but vaguely Creole accent is distracting, but her one-liners more than make up for it. Even though I don’t condone the killing of sharks, she’s a bit of a hero, uttering with complete confidence lines like, “I find it hard to believe an entire flotilla could be taken down by sharks,” and “We got some…sha-waks to keel…”
Since it’s been only about 20-30 minutes at this point, I think you can guess whether sharks or humans win this round. However, the scientists, the girl, guy who looks a bit like a pirate, and cringey comic relief dude have a chance to regroup and restrategize. Their brilliant plan? Lure the sharks to an underwater volcano and then make it erupt. For real. Goodbye, humanity.
Color me surprised when this rock-solid plan suffers some unexpected complications.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads
It’s no Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, but there are definitely some moments I really enjoyed here. The characters are largely forgettable, but some of the women demonstrate moments of badassery and pretty entertaining one-liners. I probably should have given them more attention, but I seriously cannot remember any of their names.
The last half of the film is way slower and decidedly less shark-centric. There is SO MUCH discussion of the damn rocket, and all of the pseudo-science drove me insane. While I acknowledge the point of this movie was to fill time and sell ads on SyFy, it still irritated me that global warming was a plot device explained with nonsense that probably does more harm than good. What hath SyFy wrought? Will we grow up with a generation that sincerely believes launching a single rocket can solve global warming???
Overall, I was hoping for a more deliberate Planet of the Apes parody (I would KILL to see talking land sharks enslave humanity) rather than just a catchy title that has little to do with the way the film unfolds. However, this film checked off some major boxes: sharks, women with spears, volcanoes, and inexplicable explosions. I can live with that.