Patrick Bergin - Tiburon
Yancy Butler - Elena
Joshua Michael Allen - Cal
Erin Coker - Reagan
Bart Baggett - Holt
Frankie Cullen - Frankie
Valerie K. Garcia - Layla
Meredith Thomas - Francine
Genre - Horror/Thriller/Bad Animals/Sharks
Running Time - 89 Minutes
Eight people, with a mysterious connection to themselves, have been abducted and brought to some mansion owned by a drug czar named Tiburon (Patrick Bergin) and his lady friend, Elena (Yancy Butler). Apparently Tiburon has an issue with his hostages and wants to feed each one of them to sharks in some capacity. But instead of just killing them right away, Tiburon has created a sick game in which each person must survive a series of shark-related challenges until there's only one survivor.
Jigsaw is not amused...
I have three words for SHARK WEEK:
WHAT THE FUCK!?
Screenplay: SHARK WEEK is one of The Asylum's many films, this time using the name of the much-loved annual Discovery Channel event in which the network focuses an entire week on sharks. Unfortunately, SHARK WEEK doesn't even come close to matching the epicness of the annual event it takes its name from. And a lot of that has to do with the screenplay.
SHARK WEEK is JAWS mixed with SAW - an evil mastermind captures a group of people with a connection, and decides to play a game with them - only this time with sharks! And... it doesn't live up to its potential. I mean, if you're going to use what SAW did [especially SAW II and SAW V, which both dealt with a similar premise], at least do what made those two films [at least II] work. Let there be a mystery of some sort. Have the villain be more interesting beyond such a cliche motive for his actions. And hell, have a decent story that will make audiences somewhat care about the characters and the situation they're forced into.
The mystery portion is pretty much given away during the first half hour. Tiburon makes his motives clear and the other characters quickly realize their connection to the situation. The fun about SAW II and even SAW V is the journey in trying to figure out why Jigsaw [or one of his apprentices] kidnapped a certain group of people to play the same game. Once it's quickly revealed before the film could really start, the interest level goes down. And if you're going to reveal pretty much everything sooner than later, at least have the revelation affect the dynamic of the characters and their relationships with one another. Sure, one of the characters is distrusted because of his knowledge of Tiburon and the situation itself, but it's never exploited enough. Why bother then?
The villains are also extremely lame. All they do is pretty much sit and watch the characters roam around and die from a computer screen while looking stoned. Nothing about Tiburon makes him compelling. At least his lady friend, Elena, gets to have a catfight with one of the protagonists towards the end of the film. And she seemed more vicious than Tiburon, which made her more interesting. But still, Jigsaw was interesting because he had a method to his motive and was somewhat "justified" in his actions due to his tragic past. Tiburon and Elena are just stock villains. You'll forget them once the film ends.
And the other characters aren't any better. All the hostages are stereotypes and somewhat stand out from each other, but you barely know anything about them besides names and professions. Sure, some characters are bigger assholes than others [especially one, who was probably the best character of the lot because I had a genuine reaction to him]. But they're pretty bland and don't participate in actual drama that feels genuine. And a lot of them makes the dumbest mistakes ever, which makes me lose all sympathy for them entirely. Plus, it's easy to guess who will survive and who won't. I just wasn't feeling the "character development" here.
Direction: Out of the three departments within the story, the direction was probably the best. I'm not saying it was great or anything. But at least Christopher Ray knows how to at least visually tell a story with enough visual style to make you take away your finger from the "Stop" button. The picture itself looks decent. Some of the editing is pretty inspired and cool, while some of it makes no sense [which sort of entertained me]. The CGI was pretty bad, but at least the sharks looked like sharks. I wish I could praise the murder sequences, but I'll get to that shortly. I also hated the shaky cam too that seemed to mimic SAW somewhat. But compared to the writing, the visionary aspect at least was more memorable.
Acting: The acting is okay in SHARK WEEK. The protagonists are nothing to write home about to be honest, but they're not terrible. The only memorable work in the film comes from Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler. Bergin, who I thought was pretty good years ago in 1991's SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, just looks haggard and drunk here. His eyes were bloodshot and he seemed disinterested. But at least he hams it up as Tiburon, giving me something to work with. As for the former Witchblade, Butler also looks bored and high. But at least she gets to be bitchy during a fight scene. But it would have been nice to have two actors who were more invested in their roles than Bergin and Butler were. I think they were as bored acting in SHARK WEEK as I was in watching it.
Since SHARK WEEK is a killer shark film, it's pretty obvious that characters get murdered by sharks. We get a hammerhead shark, a tiger shark, and the great white shark, of course. And while these sharks do chomp on their prey, we barely get to see anything of it. Instead, Ray decides to cut away from most of the violence, instead using a fuzzy effect that begins to turn red once a character begins to get mauled by the shark. It's pretty frustrating since I think it would have been fun and ridiculous to watch a human being get murdered by a terrible CGI effect. But we're even denied that. What's the point?
We also get a scene on a beach involving mines. Why would you have a minefield in a film called SHARK WEEK??? It makes Tiburon extremely stupid, as his mission to have these people get killed by sharks feels cheap. It really makes no sense for this man to put these people through hell if he's going to murder them all in one shot.
The only gore we really get is towards the end, where a mine does set off and blows up someone into CGI pieces. But other than that, the violence in SHARK WEEK wasn't satisfying enough.
No one gets shirtless. There are no bikinis. We get like 5 seconds of tame kissing. SHARK WEEK is pretty G rated in this department.
Besides CGI sharks, and a moment where a character turns into CGI as he jumps 8 feet into deep water [I couldn't make that shit up if I tried], SHARK WEEK plays it straight. Too straight in my opinion. C'mon! Have fun with the story! Why is everyone so serious? There's nothing silly about this film at all! Are you sure this was made by The Asylum? The same people behind 2-HEADED SHARK ATTACK? MEGA SHARK VS. GIANT OCTOPUS? MEGA PIRANHA? Is this supposed to be taken seriously as it is? I was heavily disappointed that the film wasn't cheesier. Instead of laughing at it, I just felt bored. I shouldn't feel that way during a B-movie.
THE FINAL HOWL
The Asylum's SHARK WEAK, I mean SHARK WEEK, is a extremely boring B-movie that takes itself way too seriously. Besides unintentionally funny acting by a disinterested [and probably drunk or high] Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler, and some decent looking locations, SHARK WEEK is barely a blip on any cinematic shark lover's radar. The Discovery Channel should sue the filmmakers for giving their annual event a bad name with this piece of crap. I would rather get eaten by a shark than watch this film ever again.