Nobody does it better than Shark Killer (2015) #SharkWeak4🦈 Review
From its Saul Bass-inspired opening credits, it’s clear that SHARK KILLER isn’t your everyday crappy shark movie. Instead, it’s a goofy action-adventure movie with a dashing hero, a feisty love interest and a plot-driving MacGuffin – with a bunch of sharks thrown in for good measure. This is a bad shark movie by way of a Bond movie – and it’s a blast!
Chase Walker (Derek Theler), shark hunter extraordinaire, is summoned to South Africa by his brother Jake (Paul du Toit), leader of a local crime ring, to recover a giant diamond from the stomach of an enormous rogue black-finned great white shark. Partnered with Jasmine (Erica Cerra), one of Jake’s gang, Chase sets out to track down the shark and recover the diamond. The only thing standing in their way – apart from the shark that is – is Nix (Arnold Vosloo), a local rival crime boss who’s set his heart on the gem too.
Derek Theler makes for an eminently likeable, roguish hero even if he does come across as a store-brand Hemsworth equivalent. Although the film doesn’t quite have the courage to do it, the opening sequence – a brazenly tongue-in-cheek homage to JAWS – which introduces our dashing bed-hopping hero is every bit the traditional Bond movie pre-title sequence. Theler has just the right amount of swagger and charisma to make this good-natured action-adventure work and quickly establishes sparky chemistry with Erica Cerra’s Jasmine, the movie’s ersatz Bond girl. Topping off the Fleming homage is the wonderful Arnold Vosloo who’s great value as a discount Blofeld. Between them, Paul dut Toit and Derek Theler may make for the least convincing on-screen brothers I’ve seen since Vin Diesel and John Cena, but their banter is good and du Toit just about manages to sell the right amount of sleazy comedy to make his character work.
While the giant killer shark is central to the plot, it isn’t the entirety of the plot and the film is all the better for it. The performances from the cast are good value and more than up to the action and comedy elements which keep the caper ticking along. When the film does bring the shark in, the visual effects are pretty good too and – by the standards of the bad shark movie genre – bordering on great.
SHARK KILLER has been one of those rare, delightful surprises of SHARK WEAK – joining the likes of HOUSE SHARK and BAD CGI SHARKS as a bad shark movie that’s actually pretty great. Sure, it may be to James Bond what Richard Kiel’s Jaws was to…er…JAWS but it’s fully aware of what it is and has tremendous fun with a cast that shares great chemistry. Maybe there’s something about Arnold Vosloo that helps nurture action-adventure heroes and heroines with a trouble-prone, comic relief brother character tagging along for good measure.
I don’t think I’ve ever finished watching a Shark Weak movie and genuinely felt like I’d love to see a sequel to it but SHARK KILLER became that movie. It’s also one of the few that, having rented it for 99p, I’ve ended up buying the DVD and adding it to my permanent collection. I mean with a tag line of “Blood Is Thicker In Water” how could I not? Bad shark movies have never been this much dumb fun.