Awfully Good: Titanic II
The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is this week. Here's an equally large disaster.
Titanic II (2010)
Director: Shane Van Dyke
Stars: Shane Van Dyke, Bruce Davison, Brooke Burns
Is there a plot?
That pesky global warming causes a giant glacier to collapse; creating an 800-mph tsunami that sends a rogue iceberg hurtling toward the Titanic II, as well as a second bigger wave to kill all the survivors in the water.
Man, God really hates that boat.
What's the damage?
We should get this out of the way first: TITANIC II is not an actual sequel to James Cameron’s TITANIC, so don't expect zombie Jack Dawson to come floating to the surface. The Asylum's disaster movie (in more ways than one) is simply about a ship called the Titanic II. Why anyone would name a boat after one that's synonymous with epic tragedy is a bit strange. Why they would build it look exactly like the old one, down to the shoddy old lifeboats, and rush the production so they can sail in time for the 100 year anniversary is downright ludicrous.
The use of the grenade was a bit much, but everyone agreed it was the only way to get that damned string quartet to stop playing.
Just who is responsible for such a blunderous idea? That would be writer-director-star Shane Van Dyke, the great grandson of sitcom legend Dick Van Dyke. Clearly talent is not genetically inherited, since the younger Van Dyke is what physicists refer to as a "black hole of suck." He fails on a massive scale with all three of his jobs. The direction is bland and boring at best, incoherently terrible at worst. He's perhaps one of the most awkward, stiff and unnatural actors I've seen. (Are we sure he wasn't adopted in to the Van Dyke family?) And the writing---LOL. My favorite line: “The lifeboats…are deathtraps!” Combine it all together and you have a travesty that lives up to the movie's own title.
If you were writing, directing and starring in a movie, you'd probably do the same thing too.
It wouldn't be so bad if Van Dyke wasn't clearly a self-serving dude obsessed with his own awesomeness. For starters, the man wrote himself as the film's hero, a billionaire playboy whose sensitivity is misunderstood for raw, cocky manliness. In his character's first scene, Van Dyke arrives via helicopter on to his giant ship, and then walks the deck in slow motion flanked by four supermodels (or what count as supermodels in The Asylum universe). It just reeks of douchey hilarity.
"I wish my mutant power was receiving better scripts."
When the iceberg finally hits, Van Dyke does everything spectacularly wrong: He throttles the ship's engines to full thrust when they haven’t been tested, sends everyone below deck for safety (effectively trapping them), stores all the lifeboats below deck where they're conveniently destroyed, and takes the elevator when the ship is sinking. (Hey, it's cheaper than having to show water on stairs!) And then in a bid to look somewhat heroic, his character sacrifices himself to freeze to death/drown so his girlfriend can have the only protective wetsuit…but not before making her promise that she will drag his body along with her so she can resuscitate him when she gets rescued. That'd be like if before Spock died in WRATH OF KHAN, he told McCoy, "F*ck you, you're coming back to save me in the next one!"
It's sad that this is the most interesting image from the entire movie.
While TITANIC was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made. TITANIC II might be the cheapest. In addition to the horrendous CGI or the complete lack of water on a sinking ship, the best example is the 10-15 extras they use as ship passengers. The same small group of people walks back and forth in front of the camera over and over, attempting to simulate a crowd. (You can actually see this in the special features.) The only "name" actor they were able to afford is X-MEN's Bruce Davison. He plays the main girl's father, who jumps from a helicopter in to the water, swims in to the sunken ship, and manages to find and rescue her immediately on the world's biggest ship. It's okay though; he's in the Coast Guard.
These two scenes are showcases for both the film's horrible writing and even horribler acting.
1) Watch as Bruce Davison escapes from a melting CGI glacier and untrained extras hilariously attempt to act like they're on a sinking ship.
2) Enjoy the humble entrance of writer-director-star Shane Van Dyke. The douchebag is strong with this one.
A girl strips down to bra at one point but the scene is so poorly lit that you can't see anything.
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- The filmmakers noticeably reuse the same shot
- Someone falls in to the ocean
- Someone is clearly leaning to pretend the ship is sinking
- Someone manages to get crystal clear cell phone service underwater on a sinking ship
- The cinematography is so bad you can't tell what's going on
Double shot if:
- Water touches something and causes it to explode