Shark In Venice review

Banana Rating: 1 out of 5

Roger Ebert said, "You used to be able to depend on a bad film being poorly made. No longer." How­ever, bad films poorly made are still out there, still being birthed from the crack addled mind of whatever writer or dir­ector is bonkers enough to think they can make movies. Shark in Venice is one of those films.

The film stars Stephen “Not as good as Alec” Bald­win, and the seem­ingly less tal­en­ted older sis­ter of Scar­lett Johans­son, Vanessa.

Appar­ently, in the depths of the canals of Venice there is long lost treas­ure. Some mafia guy wear­ing huge avi­ator shades is keen to get hold of it. Trouble is, every time he sends a couple of divers down there, they get chomped on by stock foot­age of sharks in the wild.

It’s not sur­pris­ing that he’s annoyed by this. A real shark, he could under­stand. But when your guys are get­ting gobbled up by a rap­idly cut film reel of sharks swim­ming in dif­fer­ent water, under dif­fer­ent light­ing con­di­tions? It’s not on, it really isn’t.

News of these sharks in Venice reaches the boss of some shark col­lege in the USA. Here, Steve Bald­win is some sort of pro­fessor of sharks. Makes sense, as he works in a shark col­lege. Any­way, he’s a busy guy, doing shark lec­tures in which he makes fool­ish Jock stu­dents look even more fool­ish in front of rap­idly moisten­ing lady stu­dents, thanks to his awe­some com­mand of shark knowledge.

The boss of the shark col­lege, con­cerned about the sharks in Venice, says to Steve, "Steve, I want you to go and sort out these sharks in Venice. They’re get­ting on my nerves. Just do it! And while you're at it, take Scarlett Johansson's less talented sister, Vanessa, with you!"

Jiggling man boobs

 So our intrepid duo arrive in Venice. "It’s beau­ti­ful here," says Scar­lett Johansson’s less tal­en­ted sister. Steve — sur­vey­ing Venice with a keen eye — looks for the words that can prop­erly con­vey the majesty of it’s sun­light dappled water­ways, and says, "Yeah, I know." (He does actually say that.)

It’s not long before Steve is caught up in the nefar­i­ous goings on of the gang­sters. For this, our hero must…

  1. Run in the style of a slow motion Garth Mar­enghi whilst wear­ing an overly tight top that accen­tu­ates his jig­gling man boobs.
  2. Hide from bad guys with com­plete suc­cess, before throw­ing a load of boxes in front of them, alert­ing them once again to his pres­ence, therefore turn­ing com­plete suc­cess into com­plete failure.
  3. Fall vic­tim to a rip in the fab­ric of time and space, so that he has to buy Vanessa Johans­son the same huge orange scarf, twice!! Well, okay, maybe it was a con­tinu­ity error.
  4. Sup­press years of mild mannered, con­tem­plat­ive study as a Pro­fessor of Sharks, and unleash the viol­ent action hero within, by threat­en­ing to chop a guy’s head off on a cir­cu­lar saw.
  5. Throw a statue at a dude on a bike.

The plot on the whole, makes not one bit of sense. Edit­ing gaffes abound includ­ing one scene that made me think Steve Bald­win had had his leg bit­ten clean off by a shark. Amaz­ingly, his leg seems to grow back after a night in the hos­pital. Luck­ily, such minor details are but a trifle to the dir­ector, keen as he is to get to the next chase, or shoot out, occa­sion­ally remem­ber­ing to throw some stuff in about sharks.

Sharks are nor­mally good value, no mat­ter how little screen time they may get. But even they can’t save this movie. How­ever, it is mildly amus­ing watch­ing Bald­win stumble from one dis­astrous scene to the next, baffled, bemused, no doubt wondering how it all went so wrong after the career peak of The Usual Suspects.

Shark In Venice is a bad film, poorly made. But just bad enough to be worth watch­ing. At least once. Then strike it from your mind.