Megalodon (2002)

Megalodon (2002)

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A bleached blonde Robin Sachs. Oh my.
A bleached blonde Robin Sachs. Oh my.

Twitter Plot Summary: A drilling company unleash a giant megalodon shark and it attacks them a little bit.

One of two giant shark films to be released in 2002, Megalodon (aka Sharkzilla) is the straighter faced of the two – the other of course being the cheesefest that is Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. Here, a giant, previously thought extinct giant shark, a megalodon, is released from its previously inaccessible lair thanks to the meddlings of an oil drilling company.

As often proves to be the case, Megalodon is your typical creature feature. Stocked to the gills (yes, that was deliberate) with bad computer generated graphics, suspect performances and a plot that doesn’t make much sense, all you need to know is that humans are stupid and often bring around their own downfall – as evidenced here in the shape of a giant shark. Sadly any possibility of passing comment on the activities of said oil companies is lacking in the final production. The inclusion of some background subtext like this would have made for something at least a bit interesting.

Mark Sheppard, in a role long before he’d hit the big time with the likes of Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural, gets to spend most of his time staring at other people and not speaking – a criminal waste of his talents although clearly it was an easy pay cheque for him. His moments of dialogue pale in comparison to those where he just gets to react to things – a master at work.

"I am going to do better things than this, right? Great!"
“I am going to do better things than this, right? Great!”

The only other big name in the cast, past or present, is Robin Sachs as the guy in charge of the expedition. Much like everyone else in the cast, he has little to work with and is lumbered with the generic “boss” role. Unlike many similar productions however, he isn’t painted into the bad guy corner, instead they all have to band together to defeat the shark menace.

Meanwhile we also have Al Sapienza as a white haired version of Bennett from Commando, whispering his way through his dialogue in apparent homage to Vernon Wells. He’s so grizzled he’d give Kris Kristofferson a run for his money in that category, and is this film’s equivalent of a salty sea dog.

They are in no rush to reveal the Megalodon, and for good reason. There’s only so much you can do with a giant shark that is intent on killing anyone and everyone in its way. But then compared to most of these features the number of deaths are kept to a minimum, and the shark itself is a mostly ineffectual beast. That may have more to do with its terrible CGI construction over anything else, however.

Because of its serious tone and a distinct lack of any tongue in cheek performances, it isn’t a creature feature to recommend for repeat viewings, unlike its brethren Shark Attack 3: Megalodon. The lack of any tension, interesting characters and damage caused by the shark do it more damage than favours. Even the final scene, which teases a potential sequel, feels as though it was tacked on in the absence of a half decent ending. It could have worked with a few tweaks, but the reality is it doesn’t.

Score: 2/5

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