I’ve circled around this movie for a while. I knew it was there, in my “Watch next” list, yet I kept overlooking it for more promising titles such as Dinoshark and Shark Exorcist. Since those movies sucked the chrome off a trailer hitch, I thought I would give Shark in Venice a try. And there is a Baldwin involved so how bad can it be?
The first thing you need to know is that there is a metric shit ton of choir music in this film. The level of angelic-ness and volume depends on what is on the screen. There is the “sweeping views of Venice” choir, the “shark attack” choir and the “treasure” choir. This was by far my favorite part of the movie. I’m totally making a drinking game based on this.
Stephen Baldwin (yes the disappointing one) is allegedly an archeologist. His intelligence is indicated by his ill fitting suit and superior enunciation. His badassery is indicated by his piercing blue eyes. His girlfriend is also a professor and badass. She wears cargo pants so…total badass.
The sharks come into it pretty quickly and eat some divers who are looking for hidden treasure beneath the city of Venice. They work for a bad guy. Now, I wasn’t informed that Bigfoot had a baby with Lorenzo Lamas but that is the only possible explanation for this guy. Truly, he’s breathtaking. One of the eaten divers was Baldwin’s father. So that’s how we get his bloated ass to Venice, accompanied by his girlfriend who does nothing except say bitchy things to everyone in the movie. Cue sweeping views of Venice music (drink!).
There’s a plethora of questionable history and an overabundance of action in this film. The sharks are kind of extraneous, like the rind on a wheel of brie (I have never known what the fuck to do with that). Shark scenes should be the creamy, delicious interior not the weird plastic bit (seriously, is it even edible?). They attack quite a bit, violent and gory, and always with the bombastic sounds of the shark attack choir (drink!). Yet, it seems sluggish and the underwater scenes have a muddy green hue to them as if filmed inside of a booger. Mostly, real shark footage is used but there are some CGI scenes as well. And lemme tell ya, it’s extremely obvious which is which. All in all the sharks are super boring.
On a side note, I noticed the title is Shark in Venice. Like one shark in Venice. So I looked into it and the USA version is Sharks in Venice. Also Shark in Venice is free with Amazon Prime but Sharks in Venice costs 3.99 to rent. It’s the same fucking movie. I don’t get it.
The main plot revolves around King Solomon’s treasure which was pillaged by the Medicis in the middle ages and stashed in tunnels within the Venetian canals. The mafia is after it but can’t find it and every time someone tries, they get chomped. The local cops try to keep the whole shark situation muto and silenziosa but agree to help Baldwin investigate. He gets bitten but manages to find the booby trapped tunnel leading to the treasure with a fanfare of treasure choir music (drink!). As he stumbles his way to the exit, his girlfriend radios him to see if he’s okay to which he replies, “I’m bleeding and I can’t talk.” The dazzling brilliance of a Baldwin never fails to impress me.
Bigfoot Lamas comes back into play and tries to bribe Baldwin into going back into the canals to retrieve the treasure. He responds with a breathy Baldwin whisper, “No”. So his girlfriend gets kidnapped by the mafia and they force him to do it. It turns out Bigfoot Lamas was the one who released the bambino sharks into the canals and made them his watch dogs. Okay folks, that is about where I lost any semblance of interest in this movie. From there it is nothing but a badly done action flick. And it goes on and on and on through the streets of Venice. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes, woke up and they were still in the throes of horrible street action.
I’m not exactly sure about how this movie ended. I’m not exactly sure I care. I do remember CGI sharks eating a bunch of folks and eventually Bigfoot Lamas. But par for the course of this film, it’s all very meh and lethargic. The movie concludes with one last ineffectual jump scare of a shark leaping out of the canal. So Baldwin just leaves the city knowing there are killer sharks in the canal like no big deal? The local cops barely even mention it. I mean, Great Whites in Venezia would really suck for tourism. Or just replace gondolas with shark cages and maybe it would help? I am thinking way too much about this.
This movie blew chunks but should you feel compelled to give it a go, please consider stocking up on boxed wine and playing my drinking game. It can only help.
See ya next time!
Director: Danny Lerner
Where to watch: Singular version is free on Amazon Prime (and you can’t get boxed wine from there. I looked.)