Top positive review
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A Post-Modernist Masterpiece
on 9 August 2010
First of all, anybody who gave this film less than 5 stars does not understand film as a concept, as an art form, as part of culture.
'Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus' transcends genres - this is so much more than action adventure, than 'bad science' or monster movie - who can overlook the dark implications that this unleashing of monsters upon the world is the fault of humankind because of our ill treatment of this planet? There can be little coincidence that the shark and octopus go rampant in San Fransisco Bay and Tokyo Bay respectively - two cities built in volatile land regions. Are the film's antagonists deeply symbolic, standing for some natural catastrophe?
While the shark/octopus are the main stars, plenty of screen time is given to the main human cast. Deborah Gibson is utterly believable as the marine biologist who don't take no sass - when her boss/ex-boyfriend has her sacked for alleged misconduct, she also becomes a figurehead for women's rights and an end to misogyny. Her male equivalent is the Japanese genius Dr. Seiji Shimada (Vic Chao), who shatters the common stereotype that Asians aren't very clever.
His relationship with Gibson is a defiant gesture on the filmmakers' part, as it undermines Lorenzo Lamas, who plays a racist and constantly angry government agent. Lamas steals EVERY scene he is in, delivering the film's best lines with everything from sarcasm to disgust to panic to genuine menace. Finally, Sean Lawlor provides some post-ironic comedy gold with his 'Irish' professor. Don't mock his questionable accent, or you have fallen into the trap - Sean Lawlor IS actually Irish, and the unusual accent is there to throw you off! It's quite funny when you think about it for a few minutes.
There is so much more to say about this film, because of the depth it offers us - in fact, I am currently analysing it in significant detail as part of my Media Studies degree - but I cannot begin to fit it all in. To summarise:
ACTING: 8 - even the supporting cast are strong ("It rises...") but a cast shortage sadly means that some people play multiple roles, which can be offputting
STORY: 10 - like I said, this film blurs the line between the normal genre boundaries, not something that many, if any, films have done before
SPECIAL FX: 8 - if you squint, or get really drunk before watching (like I did), then Avatar seems like nothing in comparison
OVERALL: 9.7 - my 2nd favourite film of all time. So very deserving of a perfect 10, but only 'Birdemic' is allowed that privilege.