MEGA SHARK vs. MECHA SHARK – 5/30/14

2014 – Action/Sci-Fi movie

I’ve been saving this little treasure for myself for weeks now. Temporarily a “displaced worker” (the new, feel-good term for being laid off) and feeling a a trifle down on my luck, I decided to reward myself with a (hopefully) genuinely corny, low-budget movie. As with Grabbers, I’ll be recording my reactions in real-time.

  • We start out in the port of Alexandria, Egypt. Two guys on a ship (and they’re literally the ONLY two guys on the ship) are in the process of towing a huge iceberg. Why? We never find out.
  • Chunks of the ice start to break off. One of the guys yells, “It’s shifting!” Ya think? The titular Mega Shark emerges from its hibernation within the ice (we must assume) and swats the entire ship into the air, where it flies all the way to the pyramids and decapitates the Sphinx! This is the most amazing opening I have ever seen.
  • A news montage announces “the re-appearance of another megalodon shark.” Does that make sense? How can “another” shark “re-appear”? They also state that the ship was thrown “all the way across the Sahara desert.” I’m pretty sure that’s not geographically accurate.
  • We meet our main characters – submarine pilot Rosie, her husband/tech guy Jack, and KIT-style AI Nero. Rosie is making a test run of a shark-shaped submarine – and we note that, in every such scene, she wears a sort of Google Glass-esque eyepiece for no discernible reason. The CGI is bad – worse than you’d see on a basic video game. They are then summoned by Admiral Engleberg, who informs them that their REAL shark-shaped submarine is ready. Wait… why are they testing a tiny shark sub when the military was building a completely different one the whole time?
  • “The Admiral is riveted with your fascination of the obvious.” Great writing, here.
  • “We’ve lost too many lives already! Including my brother. And I don’t like to lose.” – The Admiral, in the most nonsensical-yet-bad-ass boast I’ve heard. They start to prep the Mecha Shark for action.
  • An Australian fishing boat (aboard which nobody sounds remotely Australian) gets destroyed, and a reporter interviews a man whose son got killed on the boat.
  • Jack says that Rosie is such an amazing pilot that she could “pilot a Rubix cube.” Huh? Jack then indicates that she is seeking revenge for somebody SHE knew that died. Is everybody going to have a personal grudge against the Mega Shark?
  • Aboard a submarine tracking the Mega, we hear an announcement: “Megalodon contact, fifty meters” (really bad sonar on that sub, apparently). “The shark?” demands the Captain. Seems like it…
  • We cut to Rosie, preparing for action in a bathroom that is supposedly aboard a battleship… but the walls are tile and there’s a soap dispenser mounted on the mirror.
  • Meanwhile the Mega rams an oil rig, then jumps out of the water and crushes it! I guess it got outside the fifty-meter range of that sub?
  • There’s a running gag where Jack starts to say, “You know, my Daddy used to say…” and then gets cut off. Hilarious. He also keeps trying to smoke, and everyone tells him not to.
  • Rosie finally takes the Mecha to battle the shark, but the shark swats her torpedo into the other submarine we saw before. Whoops! Then she tries again and hits an oil pipeline. Whoops! The crisis then becomes having to cap the leaking oil pipe to prevent environmental damage. This is not the most efficient military operation in our nation’s history.
  • Nero, the computer, is extremely annoying. He ends every sentence with the name of the person to whom he’s speaking: “Right, Rosie.” “Chum levels are at 100%, Jack.”
  • In one of the best scenes in the movie, a 727 flies above the shark… so the shark launches itself into the air to attack it, presumably ABOVE cloud level… and the Mecha follows it! They both plunge back to the water completely unharmed. How did the shark even know the plane was up there?
  • Rosie often can’t see the shark itself when the creature is right in front of her, but she CAN see a tiny GSP tracking chip falling off its fin. The shark deflects another torpedo toward a nearby ship. “Oh, no no NO!” the Admiral whines. Rosie then follows the shark into a trench. Nero says he doesn’t have a torpedo lock on it, but Rosie replies, “I do.” She misses, torpedoes a wall… and the falling rubble pins the Mecha. Do they really not have any better pilots?
  • The Admiral says “Talk to me,” which is dialog right out of The Avengers! Jack gets frustrated and exclaims, “Piece of CRAP!”
  • The shark attacks an aircraft carrier. It sinks, and we’re told that all 5,000 souls aboard were lost! Things are really ratcheting up, here.
  • With Rosie recovering from her earlier bungle, Nero says he can pilot the sub himself… but he can’t tell the wreckage of the aircraft carrier from the shark! This technology is atrocious. The shark beats the hell out of the Nero-piloted Mecha.
  • Dr. Emma MacNeil, an authority on the megalodon, calls up the Admiral and speaks in an awkward lisp. “Thith trackths exthactly with reported sthitingths.” She has found a “Megalodon sthpawning ground” that she thinks the shark is heading to, right in Sydney Harbor.
  • There is panic in Sydney as the authorities try to evacuate the population. A woman begs Rosie to help her find her daughter – “She has blonde hair, about 4’7″, and she looks just like me. And she’s six years old,” the mom says. Wow, that helps. This kicks off a useless search for the little girl that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie. Meanwhile, the shark tosses the battered Mecha into the Sydney Opera House.
  • “Get me the President,” the Admiral says grimly. Then, a moment later, he changes his mind and yells, “The President can have my resignation in the morning! But right now we’ve got a job to do.” The Mecha activates “amphibious mode” and goes on a rampage in the city, running over the reporter from earlier in the movie. Jack and Rosie plan to lure it back into the water so the shark can kill it. Wait, who are we supposed to be rooting for now? This is really going off the rails.
  • The Admiral yells to “bury the son of a bitch out of the water” with depth charges. What? Then he runs to the side of the ship, pulls a gun, and starts shooting at the shark! “You didn’t win!” he yells. “I’m still here!” Then he gets knocked into the water and the shark eats him.
  • Jack tries to signal to jets flying overhead by waving his arms and yelling, “Hey! Hey! Don’t shoot!” The jets blow the Mecha back into the ocean. Rosie activates some kind of high-frequency signal, causing the shark to attack the Mecha. Its remaining torpedoes go off, destroying both mega and Mecha. There’s a sad moment when they think Nero’s dead, but Jack saved him… on a thumb drive (!!!).
  • In a post-credit “bonus” scene, we see Jack finally lighting up a cig and Rosie catching him in the act. Haw haw haw!

This was wonderful. The acting was bad (ranging from the aggressively under-acted reporter to the wildly over-acted Admiral), the script was ludicrous, the plot was ridiculous, and the production value was low. But at the same time, it was amazingly fun to watch. It was the kind of movie that sincerely believes in itself as a piece of entertainment. If you have the opportunity, I’d recommend a viewing.

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