Roboshark (2015) #SharkWeak Review

“Roboshark” is everything you expect it to be. Everything.

An alien vessel approaches Earth, launching probes to study the planet but when one of the probes lands in the ocean and is swallowed by a shark, it promptly becomes Roboshark! It’s basically “Bananaman” but with sharks and robots.

The special effects are very cartoony but the end result is kind of endearing and there’s at least an effort to try and make the shark have an interaction with its environment, effects wise. Roboshark isn’t one to be confined to water, he’s quite happy to swim through pipes or the ground or whatever. It’s not like a great deal of effort has gone into the continuity of how big Roboshark is. When the shark attacks a sewage treatment plant, the film almost becomes a meta-commentary on itself. Maybe it should have been called Roboshart? In any event, I could suddenly relate to the film: I, too, feel like I’m swimming through a river of shit watching all these shark movies…and there’s no Shawshank redemption waiting for me on the other side.

The acting is as wooden as you’d expect, including some truly dreadful earthquake acting where the cast and camera never manage to shake at the same time, never mind in synch with each other. Although making ‘self-aware’ references to bad shark movies has become the new bad shark movie trope, there’s a streak of sly satire running through “Roboshark” which sets it apart from its many, many brethren. It gleefully skewers the online world of social media (Roboshark actually texts one of the characters at one point) and its reactions to anything while also taking pot shots at Starbucks and Microsoft. Guess which city much of the action is based in?

There are references to “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”, “THX1138” and, bizarrely, “Dr Strangelove” and a – hopefully deliberate – Pythonesque overdubbing of scenes of soldiers trooping through a shopping mall.

With Roboshark seemingly more intent on causing property damage than munching actual people, this is the first Shark Weak movie which would probably be suitable for family viewing. I mean, it’s still terrible and badly made, but if you know an eight- or nine-year-old they might think this is the best movie ever.

4/10 

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