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Trimark Pictures presents
Shark Attack 2 (2000)

"Y'know, sharks are evil."
- Roy Bishop (Daniel Alexander)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: March 28, 2001

Stars: Thorsten Kaye, Nikita Ager
Other Stars: Daniel Alexander, Danny Keogh
Director: David Worth

Manufacturer: Technicolor
MPAA Rating: R for (shark attacks, language and some sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:32m:35s
Release Date: February 13, 2001
UPC: 031398756620
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D DA-B+ D

DVD Review

Shark Attack 2, sequel to 1999's Shark Attack, pits a new cast of characters against more of the mutant Great White sharks spawned in the first film by ill-advised science. After a shark attacks and kills a female diver, the creature is captured by distinguished biologist/shark wrangler Dr. Nick Harris (Thorsten Kaye) for use as an attraction at the fledgling Water World marine park. Beautiful Samantha Peterson (Nikita Ager), the unfortunate diver's sister, turns up to take revenge on the shark, while Water World entrepreneur Mike Francisco (Danny Keogh) tries to put a positive spin on the situation. When the shark escapes back into the open ocean and rejoins a large family group, Australian TV personality Roy Bishop (Daniel Alexander) shows up to take on the ichthyoid menace.

Shark Attack 2's similarities to the classic Jaws are far from subtle. Director David Worth even goes so far as to ape Spielberg's Sheriff Brody zoom/focal length warping trick in one reaction shot. Add in a similar debate about closing the beaches, a scene of fleeing, laughing beachgoers, and shark scenes that rely primarily on stiff mechanical effects, and this effort's "inspiration" is obvious. Even the "marine park" motif is borrowed from one of the later sequels.

Unfortunately, Shark Attack 2 is no Jaws: The Revenge. The no-name cast is stuck with a cliché-ridden script, and such lines as "Anything exciting yet?", "This is so boring" and "Someone has to end this" don't help matters. The plot turns on predictable yet improbable coincidences—in one early scene, an obviously dispensable park attendant throws meat to the shark, then casually makes notes on his clipboard while standing smack dab in the center of a coil of rope, which is tied to the meat, of course. When a shark autopsy turns up "unusual" blood cells, a casual computer query turns up material on the events of the first film, but the information is never put to use. Anatomy is questionable (how much bone does the human stomach area contain?) and much of the story is driven by Dr. Harris' guilt over letting the shark "loose," which makes no sense at all, considering that it was swimming around freely in the ocean before he ever captured it.

The physical production is highly entertaining for all the wrong reasons. As was the case with its predecessor, Shark Attack 2 relies heavily on stock footage of sharks, with little consideration for color consistency, dramatic flow or even the number of sharks visible in any given shot. One shot of a Water World aquarium is obviously achieved through rear projection, as the stock footage is none too steady and the shark wiggles around visibly on the screen. A few CG sharks turn up in the final sequence, but most of the "special" effects are achieved with a fin-cam mock-up, one full-sized head, and plenty of thrashing about with the details obscured by clouds of fake blood. Some conventional shots are equally awkward, particularly one pier sequence in which camera placement was apparently seriously constrained—Nikita Ager delivers several lines while the wind constantly blows her hair across her face, then turns around and walks indignantly away, straight towards the water's edge.

Shark Attack 2 is a typical low-budget actioner, filmed in Bulgaria and South Africa to capitalize on more prominent shark movies, as evidenced by the film's tagline, "In the deep blue sea, there lives a dark secret." Laughably inept, it's good for a few giggles, but only the most die-hard shark aficionado will want to own this one.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Though Trimark's DVD packaging doesn't mention it, Shark Attack 2 is presented with a sharp-looking anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen transfer. Detail and color are generally impressive, and the source print is in excellent shape. Stock footage often exhibits excess grain, dirt and damage, and some underwater footage is murky, but in general this disc looks much better than past Trimark releases and is definitely up to standard.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Shark Attack 2 features a competent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, with solid bass and some very effective surround imaging during underwater sequences. Dialogue has a "looped" character in some scenes, and the guttural big-cat growls attributed to the mutant sharks were a constant source of amusement during our viewing. There's nothing here that will push a high-end system, but it's a well-engineered 5.1 soundtrack that frequently belies the film's low-budget nature.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Shark Attack, Octopus, Crocodile
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Trimark provides a handful of standard supplements here: 24 picture-menu chapter stops, subtitles in three languages, and a collection of trailers for low-budget aquatic adventures including Shark Attack, Shark Attack 2, Octopus and Crocodile (directed by Tobe Hooper, no less!) The Shark Attack trailers feature Dolby Digital 2.0 matrixed surround audio, with discrete 4.0 mixes on the latter two; all are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame format.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Shark Attack 2 is a low-budget Jaws imitator that displays every defect common to its direct-to-video breed. Trimark's DVD features a fine transfer, though supplements are few. Shark movie completists may not be able to resist renting this one, but I can't recommend it.

 


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