Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

So the word is that Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez fell in love on the set of this movie ‘Dark Tide’. Great for them. Man, I hope they buck the trend of these Hollywood romance marriages and make it all the way to the finish line. I can see why they might’ve fallen for each other on the set of ‘Dark Tide’, if what I saw on screen was any indication of what may have been going on behind the scenes, because they were probably bored to death with nothing to do except hang out at each others trailers and talk, and drink the wine that Oliver brought with him from France. Olivier is French in case you didn’t know, and if you watch this movie he’ll remind you over and over again as if that’s some kind of source of pride or something. Just playing. Nonetheless I won’t be sending Oliver and Halle a wedding gift, as my gift to these two attractive people was watching their movie from beginning to end. Your welcome Olivier and Halle.

Ms. Berry assumes the role Kate Mathieson, a TV marine biologist like Jacque Cousteau, only she looks way better in a bikini than Jacque ever did. On this lovely day in South Africa, Kate, her husband Jeff (Martinez) and their beloved assistant Tembe (Sizwe Msutu) have one more dive to do before calling it day. Tembe doesn’t want to dive, he’s tired, he’s hungry, he wants to go home to his wife. I get it… he’s gonna die… enough already. Tembe dives and gets eaten by a shark. Kate is sad.

Fast forward a year and Kate is a depressed boat tour operator, estranged from her husband and about to go broke having giving up swimming with the sharks and stuff. Jeff shows back up with a rich douche (Ralph Brown) and his spineless son (Luke Tyler) who will give Kate a load of cash if she takes them out to sea and allows them to swim, cage free, with the sharks. Kate thinks this a terrible idea. She yells, screams, falls on the ground and flops around, kicks up her feet and yells some more about what a bad idea this is.

The next morning Kate, Jeff, her crew and the douche are off to sea to swim cage free with the sharks. It might seem dangerous but the late Tembe’s wife, Zukie (Thoko Ntshinga), gives her Tembe’s good luck watch to keep her safe. Yeah, that good luck charm worked real well Tembe didn’t it?

Now at this point in this nearly two hour movie a WHOLE lotta nothing happens. A whole lot. At least nothing that has anything to do with sharks eating people. Jeff and Kate fight and scream at each other a lot, the douche and his son fight and scream at each other, Jeff and the douche fight and scream at each other, Kate’s funny assistant Tommy (Mark Elderkin) says cute funny stuff every once in a while and that’s about it. Every once in a while it seemed as if director John Stockwell would have Halle Berry walk across the deck in her bikini top to break the monotony, but it didn’t help.

Finally, after a virtual eternity, the boat capsizes for whatever reason, and sharks start eating people. Roll credits.

There are a lot of things that really didn’t go right with making ‘Dark Tide’ a viable piece of solid entertainment, but let’s focus on the positive, as we always do here at the FCU. Halle Berry might be on the dark side of forty, but she’s still top notch. They used real sharks in this movie as opposed CGI sharks and it looked like they were actually touching and swimming with these sea beasts. The underwater photography, for the most part, was stunning. Ralph Brown plays a good douche.

But to shine a light on the not-so-positives… what in the hell was this movie supposed to be about? You sit there… endlessly… waiting for something to happen. Tembe gets eaten by a shark. Cool. It’s a shark attack movie. But that’s pretty much it for the shark attacks for the next ninety minutes or so. After Tembe, it becomes a yelling drama, and it was a lame one at that. Maybe because Olivier and Halle were newly in love and they couldn’t muster up the necessary emotion to act like they hated each other, not that they were able to convince me they loved each other either. Oh yeah, there was a completely detached attack scene stuck in the middle of the movie which involved none of our main characters, plus it was pitch black so we couldn’t see anything anyway. The problem with this is that the first shark attack was so long ago, and since we couldn’t see what killed this other random dude, I was thinking that maybe this was going to be a sea monster movie or something, which would’ve been awesome. Then there was the scene when Kate went underwater for the first time since Tembe’s expected death and it looked like she was semi attacked by some baby seals. Now I’m thinking we might have a Baby Seal Attack movie, which I don’t think has been done before, and would’ve also been awesome… but we didn’t get that either.

Gotta admit, I haven’t been this glassy eyed bored in front of movie in an awful long time. If you have to watch a shark movie, you might want to try ‘Sand Sharks’ or ‘Super Shark’ or maybe even ‘Two Headed Shark attack’ to get your shark fill. Yes, they’re pretty bad too, but at least they won’t put you to sleep.

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