Continuing with the shark theme from last week, today on Screen Savers we’ll be reviewing the legendary Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus, a clear masterpiece of our time! Or at least I would say that if there were any redeeming qualities to it at all, but more on that in a bit. First off, let’s look at the plot to this terror from the depths.
Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus tells the story of what happens when two prehistoric creatures are frozen in ice mid-combat, only to be thawed out later in the year 2009 off a glacier in Alaska. This happens just as a young and gorgeous oceanographer by the name of Emma MacNeill happens to be observing a large school of whales and, as implied by the numerous cut away shots of sharks, quite a lot of hammerheads.
In case you’re curious, I googled whether or not these ocean facts were accurate to the story. Hammerheads reside largely around the equator, and while whales are spotted off the coast of Alaska, there has never been a sighting of such a large number. But nevermind that, because despite the five minute set up for these creatures, which ends with a helicopter crashing for some reason, none of the rest of the movie will involve them. No, the real focus on this movie is the Giant Shark and Octopus, who despite being frozen mid-combat, indicating that there was nothing these two would rather do during an ice age than punch each other in the fish balls, they will immediately forget the other’s existence and go on their merry way. Clearly the Giant Octopus has more important matters to attend to, such as wrapping itself around a giant Japanese oil rig for some reason, while the Mega Shark only wants to swim around, eating whatever wanders near its mouth, even if that something is a passenger plane in mid-flight.
I will not mince words on this one; I could go on a long spiel about the rest of the plot, but quite frankly there’s nothing to tell. Right from the get go, the characters just seem to stumble from one plot point to the next in an incoherent nightmare of convenience. It literally goes from a scene of our heroine trying to explain the giant shark, to the shark eating things, to the heroine finding a love interest, to the shark eating things, to the ‘epic fight scene’ the entire movie has built up to, which sadly has about as much excitement as going to church when the priest is trying to act ‘hip’. The entire fight sequence is nothing more than the same scene copy pasted and mirrored over and over, so you could probably just skip to the end of the big finale and say you’ve watched the full thing.
Speaking of that scene, it should be noted that while the CGI isn’t on Birdemic levels of awful, it’s damn near close. It reminded me of that show that was on during my childhood, Walking With Dinosaurs. That’s right, a film made in 2009 had about the same wow factor as early millennial BBC CGI, and that is just impressively awful, like I genuinely believe you need to make an effort to find a special effects department doing their first year in animation to make something look this bad. If anything, the money they spent on the CGI budget probably went into the typography budget and flash transitions, because in every single scene the film feels the need to remind you where you are before letting off flash photography and zooming in for a reaction shot of one of the characters. Honestly, if you ever want to give yourself liver failure, watch this movie and drink every time there’s a flash transition because I guarantee you don’t make it past the first shark attack.
On the topic of characters, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie so cookie cutter in a long time. No one really seems to have any redeeming or unique qualities. I even had to google what the protagonist’s name was because I’d just been calling her ‘Blond girl with too much eye liner’. And her friends ‘Irish guy who was probably on Fair City before this’ and ‘Japanese Guy who wants to bang blond girl’ don’t do much to make up for Blond Girl’s lack of character. I’m fairly certain you could watch this entire movie, changing out the actors after every flash transition and no one would notice. Even the recent remake of Godzilla had more intrigue than this, and most of that movie can be described as the most unfortunate commute home in history.
All in all, I can’t even recommend this movie for a good laugh when you’re feeling overwhelmed by quality cinema. You see, unlike Sharknado, Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus just doesn’t seem to care. Sharknado, in my opinion, is watchable because of how hilariously bad it is. The film makers there knew that they were making a Z-movie, so they went all out on making it the most over the top Z-movie they could, and their effort paid off. Mega Shark doesn’t even lift a finger to poke fun at itself, and it doesn’t even take itself seriously enough that you could laugh and say, “Oh, look at them trying, that’s so sweet!” It’s literally just a bad movie where probably the entire cast, crew and producers knew they were just pissing money down the drain, but did it none the less. My only hope is that the sequels wherein Mega Shark faces off with a Crocodile, a Mecha version of itself and a Collosus which could only be described as an Attack on Titan and Evangelion cross over fic gone wild, were self aware enough to realise what a glorious trainwreck they could make.