Monday, 2 August 2010

Megalodon (2002)

This probably isn’t the most auspicious start but Megalodon disappointed and confused me on many levels. I love a shark movie. And Megalodons are the biggest sharks ever, they’re prehistoric mother flippin’ mega sharks, for Jeeber’s sake, so surely bigger equals better. Apparently not.

Really we should all just go home now and save ourselves a lot of time, but sadly I’ve got far too much time on my hands so I’m obliged to carry on regardless or else I’d just wander of be getting into trouble somewhere.

Evil faceless corporation Nexecon has developed and enormous and super advanced deep sea oil rig somewhere in the North Atlantic near Greenland. It’s kind of like the Terminator of oil rigs; it’s a leaner, meaner oil extracting, digging deeper and extracting more oil than any rig has ever done before. They cleverly call it ‘Colossus’ because it’s so big and awesome. Unfortunately not everyone thinks it’s big and awesome and environmentalists and geologists and other socially conscious individuals are up in arms because they suspect the monster rig has been built on fault lines and apparently that’s bad.

So, as a conciliatory measure the CEO of Nexecon invites plucky girl reporter Christen Giddings onboard the Colossus to document the workings of the rig in order to reassure the concerned masses that all is fine and dandy. But, predictably, everything is not fine and dandy and no sooner than drilling commences and they find a crap load of oil they promptly rupture one of the aforementioned fault lines that so concerned the socially conscious. Said rupture then, apparently, opens up a secret compartment in the ocean where all the prehistoric sea life hangs out. Oh yeah, and the oil is now gushing to the surface poisoning everything in the Atlantic.

Now while this may all sound exciting, what actually happens now is a lot of people spend an inordinate amount of time going up and down in a glass elevator, much like Willy Wonka’s. In case the antics of the glass elevator are just too thrilling there is also some half arsed minisub action going on in the surprisingly boring prehistoric secret compartment. This oddly small oil rig crew (6) have two minisub pilots, one of which is a lady, a resident dive chief with alarming hair, a medical officer (that guy out of The X Files that starts fires and keeps appearing in every film I watch recently, I think he may be stalking me), a chief engineer and a rig manager who is clearly doing a bang up job. These people are predominately dull, in testament to their dullness one of them got bitten by a seventy billion year old fish while unblocking a phenomenally boring pipeline and I had to have this explained to me later because I’d started painting my nails and missed it.

Stupid glass elevator

After nearly an HOUR of people doing stuff and saying stuff that wasn’t very interesting, the megalodon finally makes an appearance and I, and my nicely painted nails, perked up considerably. To the film’s credit the CGI beastie wasn’t that bad, some effort had clearly gone in here, however, my excitement was short lived as apparently it turns out supremely angry sixty feet prehistoric sharks don’t do an awful lot of damage and don’t eat that many people.

Stalker guy from X Files and man with silly hair

Eventually, after some ill-judged escape attempts and with a unfortunate storm raging that precludes mainland rescue, the survivors regroup in the control room and the stalker guy from The X Files announces to them all that they currently running on emergency back up and that now only has enough power to sustain them for a few more hours after which they probably all freeze to death, or get eaten by a presumed extinct sea creature, whatever they prefer. Fortunately the dive chief, he of the alarming hair whose ‘character development’ shows him to be some kind aquatic adrenaline junkie who probably surfs and is really old enough to know better, has some manner of ludicrous self-destructive explodey plan to destroy the fish once and for all which naturally involves more bloody minisubs. Confusing plan works, megalodon and dive chief blow up dramatically and then inexplicably no one freezes to death in the storm that precludes mainland rescue and the plucky girl reporter is now holidaying on a yacht in the middle of the ocean (which you’d think would be her last vacation destination of choice considering). In the last dying seconds we see an aerial shot of the plucky girl reporter’s boat and, believe it or not, another whacking great megalodon, bold as you like, swims right under boat. Thus endeth the tale of the oil rig and the prehistoric shark, or does it? Presumably, yes, it does, because apparently there was no sequel forthcoming, strangely.

Too little too late

So apparently bigger is not better. To be fair to Megalodon, for a low budget flick the mechanics and technicalities are really very good, the problem is that it’s slow and lumbering, populated by badly drawn characters I don’t care about and ultimately not a lot really happens, and frankly there are too many damn minisubs not enough shark. To add insult to injury the credits went on forever, seriously, they must have been about ten minutes! That’s ten extra minutes of shark I could have had!

Damn minisubs


  1. Terrible movie. :( I've never seen it but I know a couple of people who have and their reviews were even less forgiving about it than yours. There's another one of these with really cheap CGI which causes parts of the giant shark to just disappear as you are watching it. I've forgotten the name of that film though which is probably for the best. :)

  2. It really is a bad, bad movie. I love a shark movie, but invariably that means I'm only destined to be disappointed and infuriated. Chances are I've seen the one you're talking about.

  3. BTW There's an award for you on my blog. ;)

  4. Do you like Jaws 3? That's the one that sorts out the shark movie fanatic men from the boys. I never saw it in 3-D; I can't imagine why. I'll bet you did.

  5. Matthew!
    I was utterly obsessed with Jaws 3D when I was about 10. I used rent it about every week from out local video shop. Obviously as a more discerning adult, well, marginally more discerning, I now recognise it's a bit rubbish, though I did still watch it on tv recently. It's not as bad as Jaws 4, however. What was Michael Caine thinking?
    Ok, I admit it, I have seen it 3D, it's very exciting in 3D.

  6. I wanted to see this but now I won't waste the time.

    I was curious because there is a Megalodon skeleton hanging from the cafeteria ceiling in the aquarium in Baltimore, and that thing is HUGE! I've always hoped somebody would do a movie about one -- too bad it was the wrong people.

  7. Sorry, Jack, I feel bad now, but it really is fairly poor so really I helped.
    Oh my lord, imagine eating your dinner under a meg skeleton! Ahhh! That be awesome! It would delight and terrify me all at once. So cool.



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