Is “Shark Night 3D” better than the Steven Spielberg classic, “Jaws,” the film that single-handedly make millions afraid to go into the water?
No. In fact, it’s not even close. “Jaws” is a better film by just about any metric you could use to measure such things.
For those that haven’t seen David Ellis’ “Shark Night 3D” it’s essentially about a bunch of really attractive people–even one of the villains of the piece, Dennis (Chris Carmack), despite having a scar across his face, is still an attractive guy–who are taking a break from their studies, and visiting a lake house that one of them owns (Or something like that. With a movie like this, the motivations behind the action aren’t as important as the action itself. That’s a good thing because those motivations, when revealed, don’t make a whit of sense).
Our group of vacationing students (Which include an African-American male and a Latina; two members of a minority group in a film like this is unusual; though they both end up as shark bait, which isn’t quite so unusual) are soon terrorized by Hammerheads, Great Whites, and other more exotic sharks.
All this action is unfolding in a saltwater lake. Lakes are called ‘lakes’ because they are surrounded by land, which means there’s no direct route to the sea.
So how did the sharks get there, anyway?
It appears that there are a bunch of guys that are (somehow) capturing the aforementioned exotic sharks, putting them in a salt water lake, and filming them eating people.
Assuming that someone was willing to do something so stupid–where are they catching these sharks, anyway? As far as I am aware Hammerheads aren’t exactly local to the United States–you would think that someone would have noticed two rubes transporting some massive sharks about.
But what “Shark Night 3D” has in it’s favor is that’s it’s so ridiculous (the scene where a shark leaps from the water and bites a guy that’s riding on a jet ski is interesting, from a visual standpoint, but so dumb that it almost has a certain poetry) that there’s no way on earth anyone will take it seriously.
“Jaws,” on the other hand, is also outlandish in its depiction of shark behavior–after all, how many sharks have sank a boat (And I am not talking about a little dingy, but a large fishing skiff)?
The thing is, when you have actors of the caliber of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw it’s easier to make a film that convincingly turns sharks into demonic killing machines.
Plus, there was no CGI at the time that “Jaws” was made, so Spielberg had little choice than to use a mechanical shark, and to do so sparingly, since it was not the most reliable of devices.
Though the problem comes when people believe your portrayal, and feel justified in killing them.
“Shark Night 3D” is so stupid, so inane that a similar outcome is–literally–outside the realm of possibility, which–for sharks–is a very good thing.