“Shark Week”, very much not to be confused with the annual Discovery Channel documentary-thon, begins mis-en-scene, with Tiburon (an almost unrecognisable Patrick Bergen) taunting his poolside victim like a cut-price Bond villain/ Jigsaw hybrid. Ultimately our unfortunate introductory victim takes the plunge and bites the big one…well, gets bitten by the big one. So begins a montage of various people being kidnapped from all over California to participate in a scheme of revenge so unnecessarily elaborate that you just know this guy mentored everyone from Blofeld to Doctor Evil.
Aiming for a shark-themed variation on “The Most Dangerous Game”, this barely scrapes by as a dumb, trashy Carcharhiniform “Crystal Maze”.
It’s a good idea badly executed, with cheap special effects, terrible performances and a script which just won’t quit with the clichés. In the attempt to set the characters a series of challenges, each involving a different type of shark, it feels weirdly like it’s trying to be both educational and entertaining yet it fails miserably at both.
Many of the sequences are filmed in near darkness, so it’s difficult to see what’s meant to be happening, never mind enjoy the mayhem. None of the characters are likeable and the ‘secret’ that links the victims together with their tormentor is eye-rollingly dull. Still, Bergen hams it up so much it’s a wonder the sharks aren’t driven into a feeding frenzy whenever he’s nearby and the blend of pseudo-science and sheer stupidity in the way the dwindling band of heroes escape each challenge provides at least some unintended amusement, but otherwise this is a complete waste of time.