Raging Sharks (Review)
Boy, these sharks sure are RAGIN’!!! The title does not lie, the sharks do go for a rage. Why are they raging? Red-orange alien crystals. Yes, aliens cause sharks to go bonkers. Like sharks need an excuse. Thrill to the horror of Parker Lewis himself, Corin Nemec, battling stock footage from the Discovery Channel. Shutter in horror at how low Corbin Bernsen’s career has fallen. Stand in awe at Vanessa Angel’s complete lack of emotion acting-wise. This film sure makes me rage! I’m like a shark on the prowl, I’ve sniffed blood and shall soon tear this film to pieces.
Like all decent shark movies, this one opens up in outer space as ID4 reject aliens crash an star cruiser into a space station at 3 miles per hour. I guess the aliens haven’t invented space-brakes. The explosion hurls what looks like a Bajoran Orb from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine into deep space, where it lands on Earth a few seconds later. The Orb is a good shot, and manages to land right on top of some Russian cruiser that’s in the Bermuda Triangle, being that the Bermuda Triangle is Russian’s number one port. The cruiser goes to the bottom of the ocean, with the orb aboard. Now we know why everything keeps disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle: Alien car wreck garbage keeps crashing into them. Somebody call Space-Geico! Look out for the Raging Gecko.
Five Years Later! Why five years later? Why not? Parker Lewis is Mike Olson, Marine Biologist extraordinaire, who has an underwater research base called Oshona, which is Marine Biologistese for “Ocean.” Mike is married to Vanessa Angel, who goes by the name Linda. Mike is busy yelling “Results, people!” because without his yelling for results, the scientists would just stop reaching conclusions and instead keep making hypotheses about jellyfish. Anyone think there should be a movie called “Raging Jellyfish?” Because that would be awesome! Corin Nemec seems to be basing his new look on Kevin Bacon meets Guy Who Lives on a Bus. He gives Vanessa Angel the talk about how he wants to settle down and start a family, and stop living under the sea, under the sea. There’ll be no accusations, just friendly crustaceans under the sea! Vanessa Angel responds by acting like a cardboard cutout. In fact, I’ve heard cardboard cutouts who have greater emotional range. Not to matter, Mike has to go to Boston to argue for more funding. He leaves on a minisub, while the rest of the crew is introduced briefly before they soon become shark bait. Raging shark bait.
Now, we got two divers outside changing some relays. The movie has gone a few minutes without ripping something off, so we jump right into a scene from Alien. The sonar equipment on the station suddenly lights up with targets, there are sharks everywhere! Shots from the past 15 years of Discovery’s Shark Weeks now flash across the screen….wait. The sharks are ROARING!!! Roaring?!?! This movie should have been called Roaring Sharks! So the crew inside watches on sonar as the Roaring Shark Stock Footage attacks the divers. The divers are several hundred feet underwater, but the scenes from the nature shows have the roaring sharks just a few inches underwater. These sharks must also be incredibly fast swimmers. Vanessa Angel shows zero emotion as she tries to guide the divers to safety, and the music sounds very similar to another shark movie’s music, but not close enough for John Williams to sue. Vanessa Angel goes out to help the divers, as a small woman with a small knife will surely stop a mass shark attack. “Someone’s got to help them” a wooden carving of Vanessa Angel states flatly. She must be helping the sharks by being dessert. Outside, she sees some diver carcass, where the sharks ate the man’s eye but left the rest of his upper body. Very finicky sharks. She attacks one shark with a knife and retreats back inside. The sharks get smart, raging smart, as they bite the oxygen supply line and the power lines, dooming the crew in a short while.
In Boston, Mike is stuck in traffic when he’s told of the shark attack, and that he has to get to the Navy yard to hitch a ride in the rescue sub sent to help the trapped crew. Boston being the closest city to the Bermuda Triangle, this makes perfect sense. The USS Roosevelt, captained by Corbin Bernsen, is ready to save the day. Bernsen’s character doesn’t like Mike, which is pretty clichéd. Not to worry, the film soon forgets, and they’ll be best buds by the next scene. Partially because there is another passenger, a Mr. Stiles, who investigates projects that are federally funded. He’s the jerk character everyone will hate and hopes get eaten by the raging sharks. There is already a ship sitting around the Oshana base, and they send a diver down, who is promptly eaten by the raging sharks. No one else wants to be the next raging shark snack, so that ends that plan.
Back on the Oshana, let’s introduce some of the remaining characters quickly. There is Harvey, who is not a giant invisible bunny but instead a worker with a bad attitude and an even worse fake British/Irish/Scottish/some combination of the three accent. We have his Russian friend of Harvey, Carlo the Italian Guy, Blonde Girl, and Girl with Huge Jaws. To round out the crew, there is a scientist who sounds identical to Brendan Fraser. He says the red-orange crystals they’ve been finding are some sort of substance that is from outer space. Vanessa Angel tells him to “Find out what it is, OK?” “Find out what it is, OK?” because the looping editor messed up. The Coast Guard sends a seaplane to help, which lands over the problem area, and we can see a city in the background. So the Oshana is only 500 feet from the shore, according to the stock shots of the seaplane. The seaplane won’t be around long, the raging sharks rage their way into bumping the seaplane, knocking the diver into the water who becomes more growling shark yum-yums.
On the sub, Mr. Stiles yells at Mike, blaming the shark attacks on their research. Enough of that, a Bermudan Beach needs to have giant shark attack melee, as roaring sharks chomp on around twenty happy beachgoers. One of the sharks is caught somehow that is not explained, and an autopsy is performed. The first sign of something wrong, besides the shark roaring, is it’s tongue sticking out. Because shark’s tongues are called basihyals, and they are not moveable, so it shouldn’t be hanging out. The autopsers find more of those red-orange crystals inside the shark. Back on the sub, Mr. Stiles is blaming Mike for all these attacks, wanting him to cut a deal. Mike is justifiably blowing him off and getting sick of his shenanigans. Also, Mr. Stiles is blaming the entire Bermuda Beach attack on one shark, the one that was caught. We need some more dead people, so a reporter and her crew of a Mexican registered boat is out in the area looking for a story, but soon become victims of raging roaring shark bloodlust. The movie pulls off a rare good visual with the severed cameraman’s hand still attached to the camera slowly sinking into the depths.
The submarine reaches the Oshana, and the plan is to evacuate everyone via the Oshana’s minisub. Which the station already has. As well as a guy who can drive it. So why aren’t they using it now? The submarine Roosevelt has no evacuation equipment, which makes their journey down to the Oshana rather pointless if you stop and think about it. I suggest not stopping and thinking about any part of this movie, or you’re going to be more raging than these sharks are. Before the evacuation, Mike and Mr. Stiles have to swim over to the station for a reason never explained. They don’t bother to tell anyone on the Oshana that they are coming over, so no one is at the hatch to open it faster for them, and they are exposed to the roaring sharks for longer. The sharks don’t notice them at first, until that idiot Mr. Stiles pulls out a flash camera and takes a picture, suddenly the sonar lights up with shark activity! They barely get inside in time. Meanwhile, the glowing orb glows and causes the submarine to take electrical damage, which will take 35 minutes to repair. That’s bad for the team on the Oshana, as they only have 20 minutes of air left. Exactly twenty minutes. And I’m sure the two additional people aren’t helping much. Instead of evacuating or anything smart like that, they decide to attach the emergency tanks. The tanks have to be connected by the outside. Because when there is an emergency, what you want to do it have a long diving expedition! Mike and an Italian Guy named Carlo go out in a submersible, not to be confused with the minisub. Carlo has a young son, so you know he’s dead. While they head out, the equipment is monitoring the sharks, and we here the Blonde Girl say “Damn magnetic spikes!” Those spikes must be really dangerous, as they cause Carlo to get eaten and the submersible destroyed. Mike ducks into a cavity after attaching the oxygen lines, but is trapped by some roaring sharks.
Vanessa Angel gets and idea, and monotonally asks Captain Corbin Bernsen to fire a torpedo at the sharks. Was this movie created entirely because someone wanted to see a torpedo fired at some sharks? God, I hope not, just think what dangerous precedent that’s setting. After some reservations, Bernsen agrees, and he fires one shot. Or two shots, if you believe the sonar screen. The sharks get turned into raging sharkdust. Mike is fine, even though he should be dead. He starts to swim back, but notices the red glowing, and picks up some of the red-orange crystals and brings them inside with him. He gives it to the researcher JOnas, who realizes it’s what he’s been pulling out of sharks nearby, and can’t analyze it. Until Mike tells him to try deuterium. We even get a “ding!” sound effect. Harvey is the only character with any sense and he steals the minisub to escape, instead of analyzing crystals when you should be evacuating. Unfortunately for Harvey, the sharks have gone super raging, and collide into the minisub until it crashes into the floor of the ocean, exploding in a raging underwater explosion.
All this excitement has now left them with ten minutes of air left. Instead of shutting off the unnecessary parts of the station, they’re just lounging around with not a care in the world. They have enough casual time that Jonas figures out the crystals are cold fusion fuel. Cold fusion from space! That enrages sharks! So sharks are…anti-nuclear power? The sharks are so raging that they seem to have snuck inside and stabbed Jonas in the back with a knife, since he’s now been murdered. Or maybe it was Greenpeace, or ELF, or some other eco-terrorists. Actually, it was Mr. Stiles, as you’ve probably guessed. He pulls out a machine gun, and admits he works for MJ-12. Yes, MJ-12. The Majestic 12. The king of conspiracy theory organizations. This movie aims high while delivering us rock bottom. Mr. Stiles machineguns down Blonde Girl and claims the crystals in the name of the US, because “We own whatever we want!” The Russian crewmember tries to jump Mr. Stiles, but is also killed, and the Girl with Huge Jaws is taken hostage so Mr. Stiles can use her to open a hatch so he can swim out. I guess he doesn’t worry about the raging sharks.
Girl with Huge Jaws is useless for opening hatches, so she claims, and is thrown in a room where water is let in by Mr. Stiles. Her huge jaws don’t hold extra air pouches, and she drowns. Too bad her jaws weren’t strong enough to chew through he metal door, they looked it. Mr. Stiles is then hit in the back by Vanessa Angel, who grabs his gun. He grabs a knife because there’s no ammo in the gun. She drops it and runs, while he picks up the gun and puts in a fresh clip. All the time the audience is wondering where Mike is and why he has his unemotional woman fighting for him. The movie has turned into Tomorrow Never Dies at this point. Finally, Mike gets his lazy ass into the fight and saves the wood carving he’s married to. Mr. Stiles and Mike fight, where the trained MJ-12 agent (that is a phrase I never thought I’d type…) is easily overpowering the scrawny research scientist. The only thing saving Mike is every few seconds he can rip something off of the side of the station walls and use it as a small distraction until he locates another item to use. This is not a winning strategy, as the walls can easily become bare, as well as it not being a good idea to randomly rip things apart on an underwater base. Especially where there is only ten minutes of air left. It’s been about ten minutes, but we’ve also lost four of the seven people, so that probably bought a few more minutes.
Hey, fight on the station? Who cares, the submarine has been ordered somewhere else far away to do something else it’s not qualified to do. Mr. Stiles is taken out for a bit, and Mike and Vanessa Angel head to the diving area, where Mr. Stiles follows, and more fighting happens, until Vanessa Angel harpoons him. Good job, Mike, you’ve done nothing useful. They get into wetsuits in less than a second, but the door is stuck and they are trapped on the station. Back on the bridge, the computers are exploding one by one, and it looks like they were filled entirely with gasoline, which would explain why there were called outdated in the beginning of the film, as most modern computers are full of napalm. The sub leaves for the surface. Back on the station, the fires are burning, consuming more oxygen, and our heroes just sit around waiting to die. Just when you thought they were doomed, Mike sees an alien ship out the window, and space divers go outside underwater to pick up the cold fusion fuel. Space divers don’t wear wetsuits, in case you were wondering. The Oshana then explodes.
Well, they’re all dead, and then…huh? Mike and Vanessa Angel are alive, and in the ocean water? So is Mr. Stiles! Mr. Stiles then gets instantly eaten by a roaring raging shark! Well, that was a quick exit. Vanessa Angel is unconscious because she doesn’t have an oxygen mask on. Instead of sharing his, Mike just lets her have no air as he heads toward the submarine, and starts banging on the outside hatch. They get onboard, and some CPR later, his wife is as good as new. Mike figures out that the sharks were raging because they were protecting the alien crystals, but Captain Corbin Bernsen didn’t see any aliens, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.
Boy, that ending sure has me raging.
What has happened to Corin Nemec’s career? Once upon a time, he couldn’t lose. Now he’s headlining Raging Sharks and Mansquito. Too bad he can’t have his friend pull a career out of his trench coat. Corbin Bernsen looked embarrassed to be in this movie as well, with good reason. As for Vanessa Angel, she’s so unemotional; I have no idea if she was happy or sad to be in this film. The sharks were all raging, because who wants to be associated with this mess? The logical errors and just complete idiocy displayed by every character in this film must amount to one of the greatest concentrations to ever appear on film in the history of the universe. Sharks, aliens, submarines, MJ-12, a Girl with a Huge Jaw, Corin Nemec, all of these are recipes for success for even the most incompetent filmmaker. I’d say they scraped the bottom of the barrel, but they’ve dug a well beneath the barrel and are continuing to drill further and further, soon to reach the core of the Earth. If I was China, I’d warn my citizens to be on the lookout for producers from the Sci-Fi channel popping out of the ground looking for directors, and I’d be raging mad, as I eat my raging shark fin soup. It’s ragelicious!
Rated 2/10 (The Bajoran Orb of Prophecy and Change, Cold Fusion!)
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