Monday 20 July 2015


Directed by Sheldon Wilson, Starring: Derek Theler, Erica Cerra, Paul du Toit, Arnold Vosloo. Action, Thriller, US, 2015, 84mins, Cert 15.

“This isn’t Flipper we’re talking about here!”

Shark killer Chase Walker is enlisted by brother Jake to hunt down a Great White Shark (helpfully identifiable by its black fin) who rather inconveniently swallowed a rare diamond belonging to him (well, sort of). By sort of, I mean Jake was originally employed to steal it for rival crime overlord Nix but Jake double-crossed him. Nix, understandably aggrieved by this betrayal, also wants Chase to erm, chase down the shark and retrieve it for him instead. In order to help persuade Chase to switch allegiances he orders the kidnapping of Jake’s smart and sultry lawyer Jasmine (who Chase is smitten by). Can our hero pluck plucky legal babe Jasmine from the jaws of evil fish-gutting Nix whilst also plucking the treasured diamond from the deadly jaws of the black-finned Jaws?

Yes folks we’re deep into Syfy channel territory with this cheesy B’movie mash-up of crime thriller and shark fest. Shark hunter ‘Chase Walker’, played by Derek Theler (Chris Pratt/Jamie FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Dornan lookalike) hates the ocean (there’s a back-story but frankly who cares?), and owes his life somewhat implausibly to his weedy brother Jake (Paul du Toit). Yet more implausible still, despite being an apparent shallow womaniser, Chase is actually a man of hidden depths and no woman, not even our seemingly level-headed lawyer ‘Jasmine’ (Erica Cerra – think Mrs Amal Clooney) can resist his roughish charms indefinitely.  Hell, even the shark seems attracted to Chase as the script implies it’s stalking him at one point (JAWS: THE REVENGE This time it’s personal’ anyone?).

Thankfully the poor misrepresented Great White isn’t on screen for long as it appears to have been cut and pasted directly from DEEP BLUE SEA (bring back rubbery ‘Bruce’ from the original JAWS any day). Even FINDING NEMO’s ‘Bruce’ was more convincing – case in point, the stalking sequence through the sunken wreck – played out here half heartedly – musters less genuine menace than Pixar’s animated effort. I did however love this fascinating insight into shark behaviour from Chase at one point: “She’s marking her territory”. Eat your heart out ‘National Geographic’.

Back on dry land (where this film remains grounded for far too long given its premise), Paul du Toit (‘Toit’ is how his character Jake would pronounce ‘tight’ in his intentionally fake South African accent by the way) undergoes a startling uneven character arc which swings wildly between ruthless evil gang boss and Joe Pesci-like comedy sidekick. Arnold (THE MUMMY) Vosloo channels Donald Pleasence’s evil Bond villain ‘Blofield’ (minus the white pussycat) and is given a gloriously over-the-top send-off burnt to a crisp and harpooned.

SHARK KILLER is of course complete tosh - but it just about manages to keep its head above the water without sinking to the depths of deploying a tornado...  
**(out of 5*)
Paul Worts

(This review was originally published on the FrightFest website)

No comments:

Post a Comment