Declan O Brien
SHARKTOPUS should be the culmination of the all the bad Sci-Fi (I refuse to refer to it as “SyFy”) Channel original movies we've been subjected to throughout the years. With probably the most ridiculous concept/title yet and the inclusion of producer and B-movie king Roger Corman, the only man who could truly do justice to this subject matter, you’d think this would be the bad movie to end all bad movies. However, for better or worse, it’s pretty much the same as the rest.
It’s hard to critique a film like this, because it delivers exactly what it promises: a killer half-shark, half-octopus creature. That’s it. Everything else is pretty average—dumb script, bad acting, miniscule budget. But while it pretty much hits the same note over and over again for the majority of the running time—our heroes chase Sharktopus as it kills random people—it still manages to maintain a fun, carefree vibe amongst the insanity. Thankfully it doesn’t waste any time getting to the title character. You get a pretty clear view of Sharktopus in the first 3 minutes and it definitely doesn't disappoint. The character design is silly and the CGI that brings it to life is expectedly horrible, though compared to some other Sci-Fi movies it isn’t that bad. While the execution is spotty, the conception is great. Having been made smarter and more aggressive (ala DEEP BLUE SEA), Sharktopus is a vicious and spiteful creature. It holds grudges, slits throats, and murders people for fun, not to mention it seems to only go after nice 5-star resorts and target rich white people having a good time. It's also able to "walk" on land using its tentacles, which doesn't make much sense but is kinda fun to watch.
The film attempts to balance multiple subplots, including the scientists/mercenaries on the chase, an intrepid reporter and her Mexican sidekick tracking down the creature, a pirate radio DJ with a hot assistant, and other asinine characters that only add filler in between inky shark attacks. The only notable performance worth mentioning (aside from a quick shoutout to the guy who played Santos, potentially one of the worst actors ever) is none other than Eric Roberts as Dr. Sands. Roberts took what little mainstream goodwill he gained from THE DARK KNIGHT and THE EXPENDABLES and uses it for this movie. Although he does spend most of his screentime sitting in a posh yacht talking on the phone. Not a bad gig at all.
Extra Tidbit: I still pray we get this for the sequel.