Shark Swarm (2008)
By: Devon B. on February 15, 2014 | Comments
Paramount | Region 4, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 168 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: James Contner
Starring: Daryl Hannah, John Schneider, Armand Assante, F. Murray Abraham
Screenplay: David Rosiak, Matthew Chernov
Country: USA
That 168 minute runtime is not a typo. This fuckin' thing is nearly three hours long. Shark Swarm is a TV movie, and evidently someone was yearning for the days when a movie showing on TV was an event that could spread across two nights. Shark Swarm is not an event worthy of such distinction.

Shark Swarm is the boring story of a corrupt dude trying to take over a small town, but two brothers stand in his way. The bad guy dumps waste in the ocean that fucks with the environment. This impacts the local shark population, which starts schooling together and attacking people like they were off the coast of WA. The pollution also evidently messes with the local sea birds because they begin mimicking the sounds of other water loving birds.

That might not seem like a lot of synopsis for such a long movie, but that's because Shark Swarm is dull and not a lot happens while the film is on land. To be fair there were a lot more shark attacks than I expected, but also to be fair I didn't care because the movie is so shithouse. It was weird seeing a film of this calibre with a cast that can act, but slumming it up here are Daryl Hannah, Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham. Hannah spends most of her screen time trying to hide her embarrassment, but her more illustrious co-stars seem to be happy to get a cheque and don't care that their script might as well have been written by a cat that happened to repeatedly walk across a keyboard. The score is really cheesy and the movie looks cheap, so all the budget must've been spent on the cast. I might've been okay with that, but to reach the coveted two night status the movie had to be padded out with lots of terrible dialogue.

At least the movie does have a surprisingly large number of shark attacks. I'm not sure why the sharks needed to swarm, and really it's probably more that they're schooling, but I guess Shark School sounds like a kids' movie about sharks learning the values of friendship and not eating their siblings while in the womb. The sharks are usually CG, but some of the FX were okay. Less okay was the way so many people fall off boats or the variety of other stupid reasons that the cast end up in the water.

Television shows may have improved in quality, but it would seem TV movies are still the cinematic wasteland they always were.
The Disc
The film has a few specks and the occasional artefact, but in general the transfer seemed fine. The movie still looked cheap, but there wouldn't be a lot of point in trying to make it look bigger budget with the transfer. There weren't any real flaws with the soundtrack, but there also wasn't anyhing of real merit. There were a few deep thuds, but other than that there's not much of interest here, like the movie itself.
The Verdict
Bad melodrama meets the shark attack genre with the expected results. I like silly movies with killer sharks, but not for three hours and not with all this crap surrounding them.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
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