Ice Sharks (2016) has a legitimate scientific reason for taking the piss. #SharkWeak2 Review
When an arctic research station finds itself under attack from aggressive sharks and the break up of the ice shelf it’s built on, the crew must struggle against the odds to survive long enough to be rescued.
There’s a lot that’s confused about this Asylum production and yet it’s one of few bad shark movies to incorporate some real scientific fact amidst the shoddy CGI and wooden acting. Admittedly, it never seems quite sure whether its set in the Arctic or the Antarctic, at least judging by the maps consulted by the characters at various points (reporting coordinates near the south pole while the station is at the north pole may contribute somewhat to the delays in rescue) but it gets quite a bit right about its shark of choice.
Yes, in another blow against the Great White Supremacy, the fishy fiends after our plucky heroes this time are Greenland Sharks. Reputed to be the longest living vertebrates on the planet, Greenland sharks are certainly large enough to be man-eaters although they rarely encounter humans due to their preference for deep, cold water. Their flesh, though, contains a high concentration of urea to aid buoyancy and survival at great depths so it’s eyebrow-raisingly incongruous for one of these bad shark movies to mention in passing that the sharks smell of pee. Generally, the CGI of the sharks makes a decent fist of at least staying within swimming distance of the real appearance of the Greenland Shark, although whoever designed the poster clearly missed that memo and (understandably) didn’t bother watching the movie.
Because it’s so grounded in scientific accuracy, “Ice Sharks” has nothing in common with its genre stablemate “Avalanche Sharks”. There’s no Native American shark spirits at work here, just a vague hand-waving of global warming accounting for the sharks’ newfound predatory attitude although the flimsiness of the ice upon which the research station was built just seems like carelessness.
Unfortunately, aside from the snippets of scientific precision, there’s little to commend or distinguish this routine bad shark movie. Aside from some early outdoor footage, most of the action takes place in a couple of very small sets and none of the characters are interesting enough to hold your attention for long. Things get even worse when the station sinks to the bottom of the ocean and the film has to double down on the meagre effects budget to render some suspiciously stiff scuba divers, mingled in with some distinctly unmatched stock footage.
On the strength of “Ice Sharks”, it’s likely to be one-and-done for the Greenland Shark’s movie career. There’s just no way the Great White is going to be pushed aside by a barely adequate green pretender to the throne that smells of pee, right?