Genius Products // 2007 // 164 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 6th, 2008
Fear travels in packs.
Some jackass dumps toxic waste into a bay and mutates a bunch of sharks and some people die and John Schneider saves the day and I'd rather mix concrete with my head than sit through this crap again.
Daniel Wilder (Schneider) is a fisherman struggling to scratch out a living. See, the waters that he tools around are devoid of fish, leaving him on the verge of destitution. Meanwhile, an unscrupulous power plant owner (an Armand Assante sighting!) is getting rich form buying these out-of-work fishermen's homes. Little does anyone know, he's responsible for the dearth of fish. See, this guy's been piping in a steady flow of toxic runoff into the water, neutralizing the fish, but juicing up the sharks until they've turned into unruly, murderous bastards.
There are some other one-time famous people in this, too, like Daryl Hannah as Daniel's hippie wife and F. Murray Abraham as a college professor.
It's Jaws meets Hollywood Squares!
I'm real tempted to use the line "Shark Swarm bites," but if I do that, I will have sunk to the way-below-sea-level of cleverness the movie dwells in. And we all know if that happens, the terrorists will have already won.
You've seen everything Shark Swarm has to offer before, no doubt in far better examples of filmmaking. The wealthy, corrupt developer buying up a coastal town much to the chagrin of our heroic protagonists (the lone hold-outs), the dirtbag capitalist illegally dumping toxic waste like this is 1987, the once-benevolent wildlife hit with a dose of sludge that promptly turns them into man-eating killing machines instead of making them sick and sluggish, the convenient plot contrivance that immediately solves the monster problem (in this case a " pulse gun" that looks like a Black and Decker finish sander), and, of course, shark attacks.
About those. Would you at all be surprised if I were to tell you that the sharks are completely rendered in low-budget CGI and they're about as believable a threat as the Koopa Troopas from Super Mario Brothers? Of course you wouldn't, because if you're even remotely interested in the current state of the creature feature genre then you know that virtually ever entry coughed up is riddled with piss-poor visual effects, substituted for practical props and giant rubber monstrosities from yesteryear. After this, the ten-thousandth movie of this ilk, I've grown accustomed to the horrid effects and would welcome a return of guys in suits swimming around instead of the muddled crap that passes off as the titular swarm. As this was a made-for-TV excursion, the gore is entirely hidden, save for some red water here and there and a blurry Armand Assante-shaped figure colliding with a blurry shark-shaped figure.
But I haven't even gotten to the worst of it. This sucker runs 164 minutes, which is approximately 162 minutes too long.
On the technical end, the film's transfer (1.85:1) is crisp, giving you more crappy shark effects than you can shake a stick at, in al their digital glory. Stereo sound and no extras round out this totally forgettable experience.
Enough with the sharks already.
Guilty. Turn this @#$% into chum.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Genius Products
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 164 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated