Shark in Venice DVD review

A shark movie without a shark might be a touch toothless. Oh well, the scenery's pretty...

Let’s get the formalities over with – this is a film starring Stephen Baldwin and some other people who must have been bribed about a group of divers who are trying to find some treasure in the waters of Venice. What they find instead is a great white shark which rips a few of them apart. The Mafia are involved somehow, so that results in some gunfights and someone getting dragged off the street in full view of a public seemingly too bored – sorry, scared to intervene. They find the treasure, the Mafia wants it, the shark gets away.

Thank God that’s over. Something in this made me laugh so much it hurt. During the diving expeditions, the divers are talking to each other as if over radios. This would be fine if they didn’t all have whacking great regulators shoved in their mouths, making it impossible to move their lips. Once you’ve noticed this it all falls apart, and you’ll notice it very quickly. Trouble is, you’ll notice a huge list of other things as well, namely:

  • The terrible acting
  • The terrible script
  • The terrible Italian accents
  • The terrible plot
  • The terrible shark attacks
  • The terrible extras
  • Editing that makes the film look like it was pieced together from a Venice Tourist Board video, the out-takes from Jaws, and a film about Boating For Fun and Profit


The truth is that many viewers won’t get past the first twenty minutes, but for those who do another hour of complete tripe awaits. I found that the best way of passing the time was to create the Observer’s Book of Bad Extras, and I encourage you to give yourself a tick for spotting the following:

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  • The hotel doorman who looks at the production crew just after his five seconds of outrageously poor acting
  • The two men sitting absolutely stock-still in a police station clearly wondering whether they should be moving
  • The men in a café who don’t notice when a someone runs through the room and falls into some boxes right behind them
  • The policeman who takes a bullet and falls to the floor without a wince of pain
  • The man with a newspaper who continues to read it as the Mafia kidnap someone directly in front of him
  • The guy bartering in the market who watches the camera approaching


There’s also the moment when the treasure is discovered, which, along with the rest of the scene leading up to it, is like a particularly poor Disney sequence. The rest of it is a cross between James Bond, The Mummy, and Wildlife on One. That is, the stuff from James Bond, The Mummy and   Wildlife on One that ended up on the cutting room floor. During the ‘climax’, which is a lot of gunfire and some police boats, the ‘eclectic’ soundtrack excels itself by breaking into a jolly piratey-type theme and then something that rivals Psycho for violin-related insanity.

As for the sharks, there are a lot of blurry, dark moments and copious amounts of red colouring to prove that they couldn’t get one.

The extras amount to a short making-of and the theatrical trailer, both of which highlight a film taking itself and its value far too seriously. This is Jaws for people who have had a frontal lobotomy.


2 stars


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2 stars

Shark In Venice is out on Monday, 6th October.



2 out of 5