Leave your high-concepts on your smartphones, eggheads: All you really have to do to arch my eyebrows is to combine the phrases “great white sharks” and “Halle Berry” into the same sentence.
Dark Tide is the newest movie from star Halle Berry and director John Stockwell, and it’s not great news for either of them (or a good sign to the rest of us) that it went straight to DVD without a theatrical release. Halle Berry is, of course, a world-famous movie star, but you might not know who John Stockwell is. In addition to being an actor himself (Top Gun, Christine, My Science Project) and apparently the uncle of Florence from Florence + The Machine, he’s successfully transitioned into a career as a director of some note. I was really into his movie Crazy/Beautiful, not so much Into The Blue — see, it takes more than Jessica Alba in a bikini to get me excited about a movie!
It takes Halle Berry in a bikini. And great white sharks.
My history with Dark Tide is A) featuring it in my Top 50 Most Awaited of 2012 list, B) making fun of the poster (the more moody one above is much better), and C) finally watching the movie. Despite its attention-getting elements — again, those being Halle Berry and great white sharks, as I will keep repeating because it gives me joy — the movie couldn’t fully hold my attention. The following is what happened when I took to Twitter during Dark Tide. (Watch as the enthusiasm is bludgeoned out of me, in real-time!)
(Note the hilariously non-self-aware tagline. No character in this film exhibits courage at any point during the events depicted.)
Watching the shit out of Dark Tide, the movie where Halle Berry cavorts with great white sharks at Seal Island. It’s my kind of bad movie. [OR SO I THOUGHT AT FIRST…]
- Serious film scholars would weep at the numbers of great films I haven’t bothered to see just because they don’t have Halle Berry or great white sharks.
“The funny thing about memories is, you remember the good ones, and forget the shitty.” — Halle Berry as “Kate Mathiesen”, #DarkTide
- No offense, but “Kate Mathiesen” is scarcely plausible as the name of a character played by Halle Berry.
In real life, Halle Berry has apparently shacked up with her Dark Tide costar, Olivier Martinez (who is very French). They must have bonded over their career-worst acting in this flick.
That isn’t to say that this Olivier Martinez guy could necessarily point us to an example of his career-best acting.
- “Jeff Mathieson” is scarcely plausible as the name of a character played by Olivier Martinez.
It’s a legitimate cruelty, what this French guy is doing to the English language. It was funny at first but now my ears ache.
CREEP FACTOR: A shot lasting a minute has Halle Berry bending over in a bikini while some guy off-camera goes, “Now that’s more like it.” #skeevy
Two characters watching a shark swim past the boat.
“She’s a he.”
“How do you know it’s a male?”
“I can see his claspers on his anal fins. Essentially that’s like two penises.” #DarkTide
SAFETY NOTE: If you’re ever at the beach and you hear the word “claspers”, get the fuck out of the water immediately and don’t ever look back.
- ON A PERSONAL NOTE: The only character more unbearable than the French guy is the dude driving the boat. He’s the Afrikaaner Robin Williams. #accents
CINEMATIC BLACK-GUY DEATH TOLL 2012: So far the only two shark victims in this movie have been black. What the hell is it with this particular cliche? Every single white character is completely insufferable, yet the sharks only hunger for the brothers. I hate movies sometimes.
- Innovative overboard vomiting shot. #check
“He wants to see big ones? I’ll show him big ones.” — Halle Berry, #DarkTide
- It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film with a complete absence of story. This is one of them. Despite all the bikini stuff, believe it or not, I’d actually like to have a story too.
I’m sure it sounds like I’m not enjoying this movie much, and I’m not, but they’re periodically showing GWS footage so I continue.
- We were promised the movie would end after an hour & 34 minutes. We’re well past that. Occasionally #IMDb and #Netflix will lie.
The moral of #DarkTide is: Do not get into a shark cage at Seal Island in the middle of a typhoon. Anybody on earth considering doing that?
Find me on Twitter, where this kind of thing happens all the time: @jonnyabomb