Halle Berry is a shark freediver. Might be a stretch, but this movie is not that bad. It opens with her narration about how we are taught to fear sharks and then we see one underwater “and it’s perfect”. Never a truer statement has been uttered. This film is set in the Cape Town/False Bay/Gansbaai area of South Africa. And it is gorgeous.
I have been there shark diving myself and just the scenery alone gave the warm fuzzies. Almost all the shark footage is real, and let me tell ya, the divers interact with these sharks in some very impressive (and stupid) ways. There’s a lot of nose booping. When the sharks attack, they are CGI for just a moment of carnage, then back to the serene and majestic live action fishes.
This movie is a slow burn. Very slow. I think it’s a movie tailor-made for shark diving junkies who have been to South Africa. Or people who want to see Halle Berry in a bikini. Either way, you get what you came for. The plot is lethargic and revolves around Halle Berry’s character Kate and her estranged husband Jeff. A tragedy happens in the beginning of the film which can only be a close friend being eaten. That’s what it always is, folks. Kate swears off shark diving and goes into financial ruin. Jeff returns after a year with an offer to take a billionaire and his son out to freedive with the big-uns. Jeff bamboozles poor Kate into thinking she might be in control and can make the decision whether or not they will get out of the cage with the sharks. When the time comes, of course, that’s not happening. Basically, the entire film is Kate getting gaslit by bullying men. It’s very uncomfortable at times. Eeesh.
The rich guy is dragging his reluctant son into this excursion. That sweet kid just wants to take pictures but his Dad is a total dick. Dad pisses off everyone and tries to whip his dick out at every possible occasion. He disobeys Kate’s rule and leaves the cage. He almost gets eaten until Kate swoops in with a mighty nose boop and saves the day.
There’s a weird extra scene where an abalone diver gets killed. It’s weird because these people are not in the storyline. It’s just a random “whatever” scene. It’s at night too so you can’t see any of the attack. Meh.
Kate and Jeff freak out on each other a lot, trying to rekindle the hot and heavy but at the same time fucking murder each other. I have to admit, it’s kind of hot. These are not unattractive people.
Kate gets pushed to her breaking point and goes all “fuck it” on their asses. She heads over to Shark Alley where the really big sharks await. Shit goes sideways: boat problems, bad weather, rampant idiocy. Catastrophe strikes and they all end up in the drink. Now it’s night again. That’s definitely one way to avoid showing anything. Too dark, too chaotic, you can’t follow what’s happening to whom. But the sharks are so pretty when you can see them. I enjoyed this film despite it’s yawn-inducing pace. The ending is just too hard to follow though.
I heard that while they were filming, Halle and the beautiful French man who plays Jeff were really dating. Whoo child. (Fans herself with an issue of Fangoria).
See ya next time!
Director: John Stockwell
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
Splatterpunk nominated author Susan Snyder’s debut chapbook of poetry.