Review: Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark / Cert: TBC / Director: Emile Edwin Smith / Screenplay: Jose Prendes / Starring: Christopher Judge, Elisabeth Röhm, Steve Hanks, Kate Avery, Debbie Gibson / Release Date: January 28th (US), TBC (UK)
For those shark movie connoisseurs out there, yes, this is a follow-up to 2009’s Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and 2010’s Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus. Whilst the previous Mega was last seen ‘swimming with the fishes’ at the climax of the 2010 match-up movie, Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark sees a new Mega Shark appear from the depths of the ocean. Having learnt from their previous efforts, this time the US government is fully prepared for such an occurrence and just happen to have made themselves an equally gigantic robotic shark. As it becomes clear that Mega’s motive is to head to Australia to find a mate and blow his Mega-wad, it’s time for Mecha and his crew, along with their Holly-lite Nero computer system, to stop the companion-seeking monster from destroying the Australian coastline in a horned-up rage. In the immortal words of Streetfighter II, “Fight!”
From the opening moments, where we see a gloriously CGIed iceberg, it’s apparent that we’re not dealing with any Titanic-style spectacle here. In fairness to Mega vs. Mecha, compared to other low-budget shark tales, the SFX work isn’t as horrendous as it could have been. Obviously, though, the film needs to be taken in the spirit in which it was intended – i.e. tongue-in-cheek and cheesy.
Despite the obvious constrictions, Mega vs. Mecha does its best to deliver a solid film that even follows the continuity of the previous Mega Shark films. For example, remember that shot in the first movie where Mega leaped out of the air and took out an aeroplane? Ol’ Mega tries the same here, only to be blocked off by Mecha this time around. With moments like this, it’s good to see writer Jose Prendes trying to keep some sort of thought and sensibility to this clearly-ludicrous screenplay, although the film’s cast, particularly when it comes to reaction shots, don’t do the movie any favours. Nor do choppy editing and over-the-top dialogue help matters.
If you can leave logic at the door, you may actually enjoy Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. The lovers of shark films out there will have seen a whole host of efforts far worse than this, and Mega vs. Mecha is just simply silly, easy-viewing fun if you’re looking to sit down and disengage your brain. And if nothing else, it’s worth checking out just to see Debbie Gibson’s cosmetically engineered face looking like a well-worn moccasin that’s been left out in the sun for too long.