“Planet Of The Sharks” is the selachian sequel to “Waterworld” that nobody needed or even asked for. This is as high concept as SyFy movies come and, surprisingly, it’s actually pretty good fun.
In the future, climate change has completely melted the polar ice caps and the entire world is underwater. Humanity survives in scatted floating cities, at the mercy of the sharks which now roam the earth. But there is hope, as the survivors have a plan to reactivate a satellite and scrub the CO2 from the atmosphere to bring about a global cooldown and reclaim the planet.
The poster for this Asylum movie promises a toothy spin on “Planet Of The Apes” but unfortunately, there’s no ‘damn dirty shark’ being told to keep their fins off here. We’re still some way away from getting talking sharks in these movies, roaring and texting being the closest we’ve got so far.
As the film opens, we’re treated to an attack by the sharks on a floating commune called Junk City. These CGI monsters of the deep aren’t averse to leaping out of the water for their supper so there’s plenty of kills in the early stages. The effects are actually pretty decent and the “Waterworld” aesthetic is successfully recreated on a micro-budget which must have the still-smarting investors in Kevin Costner’s egocentric epic weeping bitter tears.
The main visual faux pas is an inability to match the colour of the water between the long shots and the close-up action and it’s clear some of the deepwater scenes have been filmed in a shallow coastal lagoon but it’s pretty much par for the course in these films. There are no star names whatsoever in this but we do get a cast who are willing to give it their best shot no matter how silly or nonsensical things get.
The film keeps things pacy, which is a good thing because if you stop to think – even for a second – the whole concept of the film starts to fall apart like the shark model in “Jaws: The Revenge”. If the survivors’ intent is to provoke a ‘big freeze’ to restore the Earth, how do they intend to survive it given their wardrobes are pretty much exclusively tropical rag chic? And speaking of survival, how are the humans surviving given the reason the sharks are now attacking surface-dwelling humans is the complete collapse of the oceanic food chain.
But then we don’t watch these films for scientific realism, do we? And a good thing too because if global inundation and ravenous sharks aren’t enough, “Planet Of The Sharks” is happy to throw in laser beams and underwater volcanos too. Awfully brilliant and brilliantly awful!