The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Dark Tide | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Dark Tide

Directed by: John Stockwell
Starring: Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown

Described by some as the best shark movie since "Jaws", this reviewer however found it the most boring since "Jaws: The Revenge".
It seems every couple of months I end up reviewing a shark movie. What prompted the recent explosion isn't clear, usually low budget producers want to cash in on Hollywood's latest success but there really hasn't been a big budget shark flick since "Deep Blue Sea". Usually when approaching this sub-genre film-makers play on the trashy element such as "Two Headed Shark Attack" and "Shark Night 3D", producing movies which can never live up to their attention grabbing titles. Now and then we get a serious thriller involving our razor-toothed friends, movies like "Open Water" and "The Reef".  This effort falls into the latter category, though it's all too hard to take seriously.
The plot is the usual cliched garbage, Berry is a marine biologist named Kate who has avoided swimming with sharks since one of her crew members became fish food a year ago. I could be imagining this but i'm pretty sure every time an attractive actress is cast as some kind of scientist they always seem to be named Kate. Maybe there's some psychology of names that is meant to convince us someone as hot as Berry would waste her time becoming a scientist instead of making a shed load of money as a model or actress.  Anyway back to the plot, yawn. A rich old git convinces Berry to let him and his son swim with sharks, thanks to the persuasive powers of her ex-husband Martinez. Needless to say it all goes pear shaped, the problem is it takes ninety minutes for it to do so.
The running time is close to two hours which is just ridiculous for what is essentially a monster movie. Stockwell seems to have become the go to director for aquatic movies, having previously helmed "Blue Crush" and "Into The Blue". Maybe he should skip narrative film and make Jacques Cousteau type documentaries instead. Here he seems far more interested in showing off the natural wonder of the ocean than giving us any kind of an interesting story. The problem though is that a lot of the footage isn't actually his. There's an outrageously ballsy use of stock footage here that would make Ed Wood proud. The most ridiculous moment involves the characters pointing off screen before we cut to the "jumping shark" clip from the BBC's "Planet Earth" series. This is probably the most famous piece of shark footage ever filmed and in terms of lighting doesn't remotely match the shots Stockwell crudely cuts around it.
The best thing i can say about this is the fact that we don't get any CGI sharks but this is a terrible movie, far more dull than it has any right to be.