Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Shark In Venice (2008)

I am pretty convinced that nowadays most of the Baldwin clan just meet up once a week to bask in the glow of Alec's career because none of the others have been able to sustain a successful career once they had to offer people more than just the famous surname. Does that sound harsh? Well, I just sat through Shark In Venice (starring Stephen Baldwin) and you probably didn't. If you still want to watch it after reading this review then . . . . . . well . . . . .  I'd do the same so I can't hold it against you.

In case you're wondering if the title is a metaphor for some deep, troubling life issues then fear not. This film is about a shark in Venice. Stephen Baldwin plays someone who goes to Venice (with his partner, Laura, played by Vanessa - not Scarlett - Johansson) because his father was diving there and may be in trouble or even dead. After mere minutes in the city, he sees some dead bodies and starts insisting that there are sharks in the waters of Venice. He doesn't quite come out and say it, but it's the "this was no boating accident" homage. Anyway, there's a tough cop on the scene (Hilda van der Meulen), a shark and a serious criminal type (Giacomo Gonnella). And the shark is the best actor out of the lot.

Directed by Danny Lerner (who also directed Shark Zone and Raging Sharks, among others), and written by Les Weldon (who formed the story WITH Lerner, because you just can't think this stuff up all alone, hell no), Shark In Venice is laughably bad from start to finish.

Stephen Baldwin may not be the greatest actor in the world, but I've seen him do better than this. Perhaps the will to live started to leave his body as soon as he signed on to star in the film, I don't know. Scarle . . . . Vanessa Johansson is okay, she's the best of a bad bunch even though she's stuck with the same horrible script as everyone else. Hilda van der Meulen is terrible, Giacomo Gonnella is just as bad and the many generic henchmen run through the checklist as set out in "So You Want To Be A Generic Henchman?" - THE essential guide for those not wanting to be an evil leader but still wanting to take their place on the career ladder of crime.

Is it really as bad as I'm making it out to be? Well, despite one or two moments that use some fast editing to show the shark chomping on some divers, yes it is. The presence of the big fin is the reason it gets any points at all, unlike some movies that have shark in the title and then just try to show one decent shot in the last five minutes of the film. This is a film that shows a leg being bitten off during a scene in which a shark attacks one man left alone in the water before just carrying on with the rest of the movie while showing that same man as someone still very much classed among the bipedals of the world. I think that sums up the carelessness and laziness that the film seems to have throughout. Hence this review, something I tried to make into a bit of fun to help myself and any others who made it all the way through Shark In Venice. And I didn't even squeeze in my lame gag about The Bridge Of Sighs. Oh well, perhaps I can find some context for it when I finally review Don't Look Now.



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