Sky Sharks. After reading that title, did it spark an immediate response to go see it, skip it or did it pique a certain masochistic curiosity? The title perhaps isn’t as self-explanatory as Sharknado, but believe me this movie seriously needs to shorten its narrative much like its title. The movie Sky Sharks is bad, but not unwatchable.
Directed by Marc Fehse, Sky Sharks sees Dr. Klaus Richter (Thomas Morris) haunted by his past when the Nazi war ship the Himmelsfaust is found in the arctic. His daughters Diabla (Eva Habermann) and Angelique (Barbara Nedeljakova) are super spies who are sent in to help rectify his mistakes.
This movie is ridiculous, but there are some good story elements here. Unfortunately, the movie chooses not to focus on them. Instead, it has too many expositional scenes addressing concepts and situations audiences are all too familiar with. For example, a teleconference call addresses the sharks’ evolution, which allows them to turn invisible. The scene takes a longwinded approach to discussing a relatively simple concept like an electromagnetic pulse or EMP.
The mid-credit scene establishes that leader of the Third Reich is none other than Diabla and Angelique’s mother and (ex?)wife of Dr. Klaus Richter. I can’t tell if this was intentional with the hopes that a sequel would explore this idea, but it’s way better than anything the movie gives us. It’s also a huge plot hole as it stands.
What’s fascinating about this movie is how much time is spent establishing quirky airline passengers only to immediately kill them afterwards. I loved the opening the opening, and hoped that characters such as Father Rodriguez would be our protagonists. This sequence has the low-budget energy and charm like Kung Fury, but the rest of the movie doesn’t carry any of that momentum with our generic lead characters.
Honestly, I’m not sure which is worse: the acting or the writing.
The acting in this movie ranges from mediocre to just bad. Habermann is okay as Diabla. She is given a lot more of the “physical” things to do. She even has a cool fight scene, whereas Angelique played by Nedeljakova is just terrible. Often, she’s reacting to a situation such as finding her sister in the medical bay and greets her with a deadpan, “Never do this again, please.” Morris as Klaus tries, but similarly, seems uninterested or indifferent to the dangerous situation his daughters find themselves in.
I do wonder if the script perhaps suffered from translation problems. The opening scene of this movie was jarring, since it’s entirely in German, but there are odd lines throughout where instead of saying a character has a cold they’d say, “it’s a flu bug” or “we’re using innocent people as a live bait.” Either way, the dialogue in this movie doesn’t sound organic at all.
Another glaring issue is the makeup or mask that Thomas Morris wears as the older version of Klaus. Talk about distracting. His face looks like it’s literally melting.
It’s strange to see how the budget is used in this movie. There’s an animated sequence in the vein of Captain America: Winter Soldier, yet when our leads end up training in a “state-of-the-art facility”, it looks like a commercial for Planet Fitness. They’ll spend money on CGI sharks and airplanes but not on a static image of a skyline. At one point, our three characters have dinner and they’re surrounded by living lens fares.
This movie also landed two big names – Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Tony Todd – and doesn’t know what to do with them. Tagawa is best known for his role as Shang Tsung in the 1995 Mortal Kombat, and Todd starred as the titular character in Candyman. Tagawa has a blast hamming it up as a drunk passenger whereas Todd plays a Major General who has nothing to do except show up on Zoom calls.
Honestly, it’s hard to recommend the whole experience that is Sky Sharks because, to be blunt, it’s bad, despite having its moments. I would also love to see more of the movie that Tagawa is in.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The Big Comic Page was provided a preview copy of the film and the disc does not contain much in the way of bonus material. No interactive menus of sharks flying by. They only include the trailer, which is a shame since make-up artist and special effects extraordinaire Tom Savini was the special effects supervisor. There’s a kill that involves a periscope and I imagine Savini was responsible for it.
It’s surprising there aren’t any interviews or behind-the-scenes footage considering the photos on their IMDb page and videos on YouTube, which would need to be translated for various markets.
Sky Sharks is available on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD February 2, 2021.
The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511