Sharkwater

August 21st, 2008 Film, Film Reviews, Xpress

It’s high time there was a documentary about sharks as a balancing force against the overwhelming tide about what bloodthirsty killers they are, intent on murdering humans by the million if only they can get their savage jaws around us.

Although writer/director Stewart’s assertion that they don’t want to eat us and are very shy is a bit too far wide of the mark in the other direction. Perhaps he did so knowing he was being extreme but he just tried to be as extreme as the sharks-as-killers crowd. On wonders how he’d react to his claim that ‘sharks don’t eat people’ by meeting who’s had a shark grab them, decide they taste good and take the bit they grabbed away with them.

Regardless, if sharks did to us what we’re doing to them we deserve to die. You never thought you’d be upset at sharks getting hurt because the only time you’ve ever seen it is when Bruce the mechanical model is blown up or electrocuted when he’s about to wrap his evil teeth around Sheriff Brody.

But footage of them being hauled in, their fins and tails cut off and thrown back is sickening. One scene in particular is as distressing as anything you can see in any horror movie with humans getting butchered, in which a fisherman throws a shark back after almost sawing its head off, the poor thing thrashing around trying to swim away with its head hanging by a thread.

As an environmental statement, it’s desperately needed. Stewart just had to fall out of love with himself a little first. Heroic recreations of his beating a flesh-eating virus in hospital or the loving shots of his speedo-clad, aquiline body diving amongst schools of sharks are unnecessary and distracting.


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