Review: The Reef 2 – High Tide / Cert: U / Director: Mark A.Z. Dippe, Taedong Park / Screenplay: Chris Denk, Johnny Hartman / Starring: Drake Bell, Andy Dick, Fran Drescher, Frankie Jonas / Release Date: Out Now
This is a bit complicated. The Reef 2 isn’t, in fact, a sequel to the routine-but-fun 2010 Australian horror movie about a bunch of capsized kids terrorised in the water by a giant shark, but rather a sequel to a cheerful 2006 South Korean CGI animated feature originally entitled Shark Bait (but retitled The Reef in North America and Europe, possibly to avoid confusion with DreamWorks’ 2004 stinker A Shark’s Tale). Aimed at a much younger audience than more sophisticated Pixar fare, The Reef 2: High Tide, screening in selected cinemas around the UK before arriving on DVD next February, is likely to keep the nippers happy for eighty minutes or so with its cheerful blend of primary colours, simplistic humour and mild peril.
In the first Reef movie (we’ve done our homework), nasty shark Troy was banished from the reef thanks to the efforts of plucky underdog (underfish?) Pi (now voiced by Drake Bell rather than Freddie Prinze, Jr from the original). But Troy is not downhearted in defeat; he escapes from his human captors who have bulked him up with drugs (seriously) but he can’t return to the reef during low tide. While he waits for the high tide in four days which will allow him access to the reef, he sends in eager shark Ronny to distract Pi and the denizens of the reef by staging an elaborate and, frankly, quite insane variety show, in an attempt to put them off their guard before Troy makes his vengeful return.
Although The Reef 2 is clearly one for the kids with its bright colours and endless knockabout humour, there are a few sly gags and references which might amuse patient adults who are along for the ride and who might otherwise be spending their time glancing at their wristwatches and waiting for the end credits to roll. The animation is rarely better than cheap and cheerful and the voice talent not exactly A-list but The Reef 2’s intended audience will too busy being swept along by the madness of the predictable storyline and the inevitable fart gags to despair that it isn’t a patch on the likes of Finding Nemo.
Expected Rating: 5 out of 10