Nu Image Films. Director: David Worth.
Creature Feature Bleachers Award: Best Take On The Crocodile Hunter.
Couldn’t get enough of that 1999 sharksploitation smash hit, “Shark Attack“? Itching for a sequel that would bring all of your favorite characters back together for another adventure? You sick, sick person. Stop and consider what you are doing with your life, if a continuation of “Shark Attack” would bring you even a small amount of enjoyment. Honestly. Well, thanks to your freakish hopes, Nu Image obliged with a sequel, creatively titled “Shark Attack 2.” Don’t look too hard for familiar faces, though— while “Shark Attack 2” maintains the South African setting (this time in Cape Town), the characters are completely new, aside from a passing reference to Dr. Craven. And if the film essentially ignores its predecessor, it draws heavily from the “Jaws” canon.
Dr. Nick Harris (Thorsten Kaye) works for businessman Michael Francisco (Danny Keogh) at SeaWorld… I mean… “Water World.” When a killer shark is discovered off the coast, Mr. Francisco tells Harris to bring it into the park as the next big attraction. Harris obliges, but through a series of bungles, the shark eats an employee and escapes. Francisco fires Harris, who then has nothing better to do but hunt the shark with the help of Samantha Peterson (Nikita Ager), a conveniently single, attractive shark attack survivor. To calm the public, Francisco hires marine life expert Roy Bishop (Dan Metcalf), the Crocodile Hunter… I mean… a crocodile hunter. With Francisco working against them, can Harris and Sam stop the shark’s rampage before the big surf contest?
While it doesn’t draw much from its direct predecessor, “Shark Attack 2” is embarrassingly derivative of the “Jaws” franchise. To wit, the entire Water World plot line is lifted from “Jaws 3,” in which SeaWorld makes a splash by exhibiting the only great white shark in captivity. As you may remember, SeaWorld’s manager also hired a foreign shark hunter who was crazy about high TV ratings. What I don’t understand about any of this is, WHY WOULD YOU RIP OFF “Jaws 3“??? It’s not exactly the world’s greatest film to start with! They even stole the terrifying man-in-sea-creature-suit idea.
“Shark Attack 2” eventually relents and begins stealing material from a good sharksploitation film (or should I say, the good sharksploitation film), “Jaws.” Remember the scene where the fishermen falsely claim to have captured the shark, even though they’ve actually caught a different one? “Shark Attack 2” has that scene, too. To be fair to the film, this trope is a rather popular one in the sharksploitation industry (most notably seen in “Sand Sharks“).
Still, “Shark Attack 2” takes the stealing further. Remember the moment when Chief Brody first notices the killer shark he’s been expecting? The camera pulls in while zooming out, capturing his terror. Well, “Shark Attack 2” decided it liked that scene enough to steal it wholesale. At least they had the decency to switch things up by pulling the camera out while zooming in.
My favorite part about “Shark Attack 2,” however, is
but Roy Bishop, a crocodile hunter. He’s Australian. He works for the Discovery Channel. He’s a pain in the butt and doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his TV ratings. I’m not sure what Steve Irwin did to anger the people at Nu Image, but their interpretation of him is pretty darn funny. Particularly the way he describes his show’s popularity:
That being said, Bishop isn’t my favorite character. Not by a long shot. Nope, that honor is reserved for someone special. At one point, evil Francisco orders his staff to feed the shark off of its regular schedule. He wants to impress the audience on opening day. Things backfire, however, as an employee’s foot gets tangled in a rope that drags him into the tank to be eaten. The tour group is traumatized, shrieking as they watch the horror before them. Except for this kid on the left.
Some good parenting right there.
The trailer’s announcer doesn’t have the right voice for his job:
“Shark Attack 2” is available on Amazon.