Directed by: Le-Van Kiet
Premise: An American couple (Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper) vacationing in Vietnam stay at a seaside cottage. A storm washes the house and the couple out to sea where they are at the mercy of the elements and a few great white sharks.
What Works: There is an entire genre of enjoyably bad shark movies. Films such as Jaws 3-D and Shark Attack 3: Megalodon and Great White are delightfully bad and the past decade has seen a surge of these movies, many of them deliberately silly such as the Sharknado series. The Requin plays everything straight but it is frequently unintentionally funny, and because of its sincerity The Requin is more authentically campy than a lot of the monster movies put out by The Asylum production company. For those looking to laugh at (but not with) some ridiculous sharksploitation, The Requin offers plenty to mock.
What Doesn’t: Virtually nothing in The Requin makes sense starting with its title. “Requin” is the French word for “shark” but this movie is set off the coast of Vietnam and its protagonists are American. The title is also misleading because there is barely any shark action in the movie. Sharks don’t show up until an hour into the film’s ninety-minute running time and they only figure into about fifteen minutes of the action. But the title is the least of this movie’s problems. The Requin was very obviously shot using green screens or other forms of compositing and the film looks terrible. The actors are very obviously on a set for much of the movie. The digital shark effects aren’t any better, with the animals often looking like cartoons. The floating cottage is unconvincing which makes the stupidity of the conceit even more obvious. The filmmakers of The Requin apparently don’t understand how things work on planet Earth. The cottage, which is made of wood and straw, is swept out to sea but somehow floats. The couple gets the bright idea to start a signal fire by angling sunlight through a plastic bottle. The resulting fire naturally immolates the entire structure. That’s demonstrative of the intelligence of this film and its main characters. Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper play the adrift tourists and they are both terrible. Together they are unconvincing as a married couple and Silverstone hams it up like a scream queen. The film is extremely padded with a drawn out opening on land and several false endings that only make an incredulous movie even more unbelievable while dragging it out to a feature length.
DVD extras: Commentary track and featurette.
Bottom Line: The Requin is among the worst shark thrillers of recent years and that is saying something. Everything about the movie is shoddy and stupid and The Requin’s only saving grace is that it will inspire contemptuous laughter.
Episode: #910 (July 17, 2022)