Megalodon


release year: 2004
genre: giant shark drama/horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 8/16/04

synopsis: A deep-sea drilling platform breaks through the ocean floor, releasing things that have been down there for millions of years...including a 70-foot prehistoric shark.

impressions: I have little doubt that this movie was made to cash in early on the craze that will result if Steve Alten's Meg ever gets out of development hell and is actually made into a movie. What we have here is a shark movie done fairly skillfully on a low budget. I got to thinking after ten minutes and realized that there were three elements (non-famous actors, a few key indoor sets, and CGI) that were masterfully woven together to make a reasonably entertaining movie without a lot of money. Another unusual thing: the movie was clearly shot in widescreen, yet this DVD release (probably the only one the movie will get) is pan-and-scan...why?!? Anyway, the basic plot is that this super-sized drilling rig has a direct connection (drill and elevator) to the ocean floor 5000 feet below. The shark was pretty realistic, though its mouth was a bit small given the rest of it. It seemed fairly passive, only attacking smaller things that shone light or moved. It would have been nice to see it attack a boat or something. Some highlights of this film: a meditating mini-sub pilot who later gets an almost-orgasmic look on her face while seeing deep-sea fish...a guy with stingray burns all over his torso...a severed head floating by...the shark attacking a mini-sub...a rather useful non-stereotypical billionaire oil rig owner...a storm that hits the rig at the worst time...the shark shooting straight up and breaking through the ice...the shark being unable to catch a mini-sub...an immensely-gifted-in-the-chest-department heroine who hides it behind heavy clothes.

things to watch for: when they're examining the clogged section of pipe

something this movie has that no other movie has: the world's biggest oil drilling platform, rising 400 feet above the water like a miniature skyscraper

acting: There are a few notable roles that made themselves distinct: billionaire rig owner, head engineer, quirky female mini-sub pilot, ex-marine-life-expert/environmentalist and now bearded-Wolf-Blitzer clone guy, chesty female reporter, annoying plump cameraman.

quotable: 
"Great whites do not grow to be that big."
"They did 65 million years ago."

giant shark sighting timeline: 
  • (30 minutes) baby megalodons
  • (43 minutes) adult megalodon point-of-view
  • (50 minutes) big blip on sonar
  • (51 minutes) shadow
  • (52 minutes) entire shark actually seen, finally

    final word: Pretty entertaining shark cheese, done well without many resources.

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