Watered Down Sharks

Empire of the Sharks

The hard-to-chew Empire of the Sharks (2017) is the cousin to Planet of the Sharks (2016), and once again puts apocalypse survivors on floating shacks (docks with outhouses) on a world turned into a global fishbowl. Think of it as Mad Max (1979) meets Waterworld (1995), with a budget about the cost of bottled water.

Empire of the Sharks

The bubbles are ruled over by the self-proclaimed master of the ocean, Ian Fien. He’s able to command sharks to do his bidding by way of electronic poker chips affixed to the fish heads. A signal is routed through electric gloves, and when Fien waves his arms around like he’s conducting an invisible orchestra, the sharks — swimming in packs — come out of their metal shark head pen, shoot out of the ocean like dolphin missiles, and feast on human leftovers.

Empire of the Sharks

A bunch of young girls are taken hostage by Fien’s hammy henchmen and their friends hatch a flawed plot to get them back. They go to Criminal Island (a floating bar with no happy hour) to assemble a team of “specialists” to take down Fien and his pet sharks. Too bad they didn’t know Willow, one of the abducted young girls, is a shark whisperer. Guess what happens next?

Empire of the Sahrks

The sharks look like something out of a 1980s video game. They growl when in attack mode and usually go for the head, or “crunchy malt balls.” There’s even a bomb-dressed kamikaze goblin shark sent in to make explosions happen.

Empire of the Sharks

Gallons of pixel blood pollutes the water and body parts are turned into buffet sides. The big showdown happens when Fien and Willow battle for control of the sharks by frowning hard at each other while waving their arms at the apparently easily-manipulated fish.

Empire of the Sharks

Tedious plot, boring shark attacks, minimal gore and over-acting clichéd characters. What did you expect from watered down sci-fi?

One Response to “Watered Down Sharks”

  1. David H Says:

    Last August. I saw this little gem when it aired on a certain channel’s “Shark Week.” I really enjoyed it. However, I _was_ in the hospital fighting off a nearly fatal infection, so that may have been a factor.
    Suffice to say, between the fever hallucinations and the pain meds, Empire of the Sharks seemed an Oscar(tm) worthy film.

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