Wednesday, November 16, 2005

SHARK TALE

A Shark! Shark Tale Movie Directed by Bibo Bergeron
Reviewed by Byron Merritt

THUMBS DOWN! THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING


Having grown up watching one or two dimensional stylized cartoons (Bugs Bunny, The Road Runner, Foghorn Leghorn, etc.), I was pleased to see studios take a recent interest in animation again. SHREK blew me away. I loved THE INCREDIBLES. Even MONSTERS, INC. was funny and put a cool spin on old themes.

But SHARK TALE fell flat on its face. Although the animation was decent, the script was horribly cliche-riddled and barely allows for a few chuckles. This was equally depressing considering how many "names" gave their voices to characters.

Will Smith (I, ROBOT) takes the lead as Oscar, a little fish in a a big ocean who's nearby when a shark gets killed by a falling anchor. Everyone thinks he killed the shark, and he becomes known as "The Shark Slayer" (ala, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER). A hidden love interest, Angie, voiced by Renee Zellweger (NURSE BETTY), becomes disenfranchised with him after his rise to fame and his abrupt involvement with a lusty-looking femme-fish fatale named Lola (Angelina Jolie, TOMB RAIDER). But little Oscar is in for some big trouble. The falling anchor killed the son of shark mobster Don Lino (Robert De Niro, MEET THE FOCKERS) and The Don is out to get Oscar.

All of this happens around Oscars job, The Whale Wash, allowing for some terrible reminisence involving the 1976 smash disco hit Car Wash by Rose Royce.

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I'm sure the actors read the script before signing on to do the voices, which made me feel surpised that they did (Jack Black, Martin Scorsese, Peter Falk, Katie Couric, and many, many others)

SHARK TALE tries to incorporate too much of the not-so-enjoyable 70s music and culture (bright colors, early rap beats, over-the-top hair styles, etc.), and to some extent it succeeds. But the script is so lame and unimaginative that it becomes a chore to watch, especially when the gags were sub-par or overly done.

Click here for the Shark Tale movie trailer!

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