For a film with the words ‘shark’ and ‘killer’ in its title, Shark Killer is surprisingly low-key on the gore. What Shark Killer lacks in any real sense of danger it makes up for with an overall sense of pedestrian charm, but when you’ve got a film bearing such a name as this, surely charming is the last thing it should be, right?
Chris Platt-lookalike Derek Theler embodies this plain sense of jolliness Shark Killer has as Ace Hunter, whose aquatic animal butchering talents are called upon by his criminal brother Jake. Turns out a particularly nasty shark has gobbled up one of the most precious diamonds in existence. Taking Jake’s lawyer-cum-leftover-Bond-girl Jasmine, Ace embarks on the rather dull mission of hunting down this ruffian of a shark, but Jake mightn’t be the only dodgy character the diamond can’t help attract…
It’s hard to pinpoint anything that’s bad with Shark Killer necessarily, because almost everything is too cheerful. We’re treated to some handsome stars playing around in exotic locations, but there’s the double problem of the film not being nearly as exciting as its film suggests and the film itself being rather dull, regardless of the audience knowing the title at all.
To rub some salty sea water into the wound, we’re also treated to an eye-patch-wearing villain complete with dastardly motives and a hidden lair with which to carry out his fiendish plans – but we barely see enough of this chap to warrant hooky viewing that’s brimming with entertainment. But Shark Killer still manages to swim home with a degree of fun without drowning in its own plainness. Theler and Erica Cerra have some endearingly sweet chemistry in their performances, but much like the majority of the film, there’s nothing unique enough about their characters to give that chemistry a bit of a kick.
When Shark Killer does try to live up to its name, with the odd shark attack and a climax that sees Arnold Vosloo’s lazy performance as the eye-patch baddie Nix go all kamikaze on Ace and Jasmine, those moments almost feel curiously out of place, essentially cementing the fact that Shark Killer is smothered in its own lack of action.
This film feels as if it began life as a brutally entertaining concept that would have been a hell of a romp in the entertainment department, but somewhere along the line, everything became watered down to a mere drip of flat action/adventure film-making. Despite Shark Killer’s pleasant meandering through every trick in the action/adventure film rule book, it ultimately fails to have much bite to it.
SHARK KILLER / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SHELDON WILSON / SCREENPLAY: RICHARD BEATTIE, SHELDON WILSON / STARRING: DEREK THELER, ERICA CERRA, PAUL DU TOIT, ARNOLD VOSLOO / RELEASE DATE: JULY 20TH