Megalodon Rising sinks without a trace

Bad shark movies have given rise to several notable franchises, hardly a surprise given it’s a genre that really started with the granddaddy of all bad sequel-spawners, Jaws. We’ve had the increasing noggins of the 2-Headed Shark Attack follow-ups, Deeper Bluer Seas, and the escalating shit storm of the Sharknado movies. But still, nobody could have, or should have, predicted that the almost weaponisedly underwhelming Megalodon would get a follow-up, let alone one that looks and feels like it was filmed the following afternoon. Yet, here we are. Megalodon Rising follows on from the events of the first film with a story that basically rehashes the same events with as few changes as possible.

When a Chinese submarine testing a secret espionage device just off the US coast is attacked by a colossal megalodon, Dr. Lee (Freda Yifan Jing), the sole survivor, is swiftly picked up by the USS King, commanded by Captain Lynch (Wynter Eddins). The plot thickens—or rather, curdles—when a Chinese destroyer arrives on the scene demanding Dr. Lee’s return, or else they will declare war. And as if that wasn’t enough, a further two megalodons emerge to join in the “fun”.

Captain Lynch provides our connective tissue to the first movie, being the sister of Commander Lynch from Megalodon. Tom Sizemore takes over washed-up has-been duties from Michael Madsen, appearing as the notional authority in a phoned-in performance. While the technical and logical inaccuracies are too numerous to mention (a US Navy ship gunner wearing a World War II German helmet is a particular highlight), you’ll no doubt appreciate Megalodon Rising sticking to the franchise’s established house style—a style defined by tight shots and desperately weird angles to cover up the fact the film’s being made in cheap and barely credible locations.

The performances are uniformly terrible, but even then, there are performers who shame their castmates by not just hitting rock bottom but starting to dig, with O’Shay Neal being the standout in the scenery-chewing stakes, no mean feat in a film featuring three giant sharks.

Apart from the change from the Russians to the Chinese, this middle chapter of a threatened trilogy doesn’t really do anything different from the first one, but that’s the least of its sins. Giant prehistoric sharks that brush off fire from warships like it’s a minor inconvenience are thwarted by a couple of gravy seals with machine guns when the megalodons reach San Diego. Meanwhile, the (off-screen, naturally) obliteration of a naval base doesn’t seem to disturb the beachgoers even a little. It’s a film that wears its ineptitude on its sleeve and claims it’s a sign of military rank.

Sometimes you can get away with the enormous payload of stupidity and abject lack of filmmaking skill if you can keep things moving quickly enough and throw in some decent special effects, but Megalodon Rising does neither. The special effects would flatter themselves to claim mediocrity, and perhaps nothing sums up how bad this is more than the fact that the World War II naval documentary footage spliced in as a substitute for actual footage is the best thing this manages to put on screen.

shark weak 5
megalodon rising review

Related posts

Grimsby (2016) Review

Grimsby (2016) Review

If you want some kind of context to understand the tone of Sasha Baron Cohen’s seminal (at least as far as elephants are concerned) new movie “Grimsby”, then know this: Rebel Wilson is an island of subdued subtlety amid the crass, lowbrow and profoundly tasteless shenanigans.When Norman...

The best view comes after the hardest climb. Free Solo (2019) Review

The best view comes after the hardest climb. Free Solo (2019) Review

In a world of ever-increasing mining of existing properties for prequels and spin-offs, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine someone would set out to make a whole movie about the opening sequence of “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”.Of course, that was fantasy and “Free Solo” is reality...

The future’s not set. There are no sequels but what we choose for ourselves. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Review

The future's not set. There are no sequels but what we choose for ourselves. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Review

There’s something metatextually satisfying in the tangled maelstrom of continuity the Terminator franchise has created for itself. It feels fitting that a series based on so much dicking around the time travel and rewriting the timeline should leave behind it a more than tangled skein. By...

Logan (2017) Review

Logan (2017) Review

A reluctant hero's last journeyMuch has been made of “Logan” being a hard-R superhero movie and it’s certainly in a hurry to prove its adult credentials, opening with a sequence which is almost custom-designed to make a certain class of comic fans jizz their pants. There’s even an...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.