Monday, February 09, 2009

"Sharks in Venice" review

Shark in Venice (2008)

Director: Danny Lerner
Writer: Les Weldon

Stephen Baldwin ... David Franks
Vanessa Johansson ... Laura
Hilda van der Meulen ... Lt. Sofia Totti
Giacomo Gonnella ... Vito Clemenza
Ivaylo Geraskov ... Rossi
Atanas Srebrev ... Captain Bonasera

I saw "Sharks in Venice" with my brother and my friend. Watching sharks eat their way through the canals of Venice seemed like a reasonable enough plan for a Friday night. But when I pulled up to the house in Pasadena, they were nowhere to be found. It turns out they were ahead of the curve and had been drinking for most of the day. By the time they returned to the shire, they were almost completely sloshed. They knew that "Sharks in Venice" needed some serious self-medication to help ease the pain. I only wish I had followed their lead.

So there are sharks in Venice and no one cares. Stephen Baldwin gets called over to Italy after his dad disappeared down a shark's throat. Venice proves deadly for Baldwin as he is attacked by wave after wave of outrageous Italian stereotypes. Detective Carbonara and Police Captain Gorgonzola try to help Baldwin with his shark problem. All the while the Mafia is hot to get Baldwin in the water so he can retrieve the lost treasure of something or other. Kidnappings, gun fights and even an occasional Venice shark attack liven up the proceedings as Baldwin does battle with the Mafia and miles of shark stock footage. Capiche?

"Sharks in Venice" was predictably terrible. I shouldn't be surprised about this but somehow I am. You'd think that the impetus for pretending to make this movie would be for the cast and crew to live it up for a weekend in Venice. It may shock you to hear that there aren't that many scenes actually set in Venice. It's just one cheap scene after another pounding you over the head until you beg for mercy. Why wasn't I drinking before unleashing this on myself?

All I wanted was a scene where a shark circles a gondola and jumps up to eat the gondolier as he's belting out a love song. Was I asking too much? Of course I was. The shark attacks in this stinker are an afterthought as the real "action" involves Baldwin doing battle with various Mafia henchmen. When there are shark attacks, they're scenes from (cheap) National Geographic specials or they're (even cheaper) special effects. There was a boat attack scene but it was rendered so ineptly it doesn't count. It was the only scene worth spending more than ten bucks on but the filmmakers couldn't be bothered with such trivial details as making something interesting happen.

So unless your drinking heavily and want to laugh at Baldwin fumble his way around shark-infested Venice, you can let this one go.

SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 Venetian sharks


monokulture said...

I keep seeing copies of this everywhere I go. It's beginning to feel like some kind of horrible curse.

Not sure how much longer I can go without giving in and buying it.. :/

Dr. Gore ( said...

Fight the curse of the Venice Sharks. Unless it's selling for the same price as a rental. That way when you want to destroy the movie afterwards you can smash it with impunity.

Mandy said...

OMG...knew nothing about this movie before tonight, when two of my friends and I rented it. It immediately followed DRAG ME TO HELL, another hilariously done supposed to be horror film, and I think I laughed more tonight than I have in months. I want three scenes from this movie on my iPod, just so I can watch them over and over and over again. The CGI effects in this film were so below sub-par that it's not even funny. But with the lower rated Baldwin brother, bad story lines and fighting sequences, even worse acting, and somehow even more horrible shark renditions, you somehow laugh just so you can make it to the end of the film.