dark tide

DARK TIDE (2012)

IMDB Rating: 4.2/10

TAGLINE: ‘In Shark Alley, courage runs deep’

History tells us that any beautiful, talented and successful actress looking to flush her career down the toilet has two options:

a)    Win an Oscar

b)   Play a Bond Girl

Halle Berry, never being one to leave things to chance, did both. Berry’s spectacular double whammy in 2002 saw her win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball whilst in the middle of starring in the Die Another Day, the stupidest Bond film of all.

You’ve got to respect that level of Bad Film dedication.

Previous to this shabby shark shambles, the past decade had seen her dive deeper and deeper into the murky waters of terrible film. Gothika, Catwoman, Perfect Strangers and New Year’s Eve should all have had their heads held under the surface until they stopped kicking. However, with Dark Tide, it is impossible to descend any further without industrial drilling equipment.

Berry plays an American marine biologist struggling to make ends meet, reduced to offering shark-spotting tourist trips off the Cape Town coast. Like all seafaring academics, she possesses flawless skin, immaculate hair and perfectly manicured hands. The only thing salty about this sea captain is her exfoliation scrub.

Plus, her crew are as charmless as a GP’s receptionist, and have the boorish and disturbingly aggressive demeanour of a Jimmy Savile impersonators convention.

dark tide

“My agent’s signed me up for what…?”

Still haunted by clichéd flashbacks of the poorly directed Great White attack that claimed the life of her mentor, Berry grudgingly accepts a lucrative deal from her estranged and very smarmy husband (Olivier Martinez), to take an oafish rich businessman and his son on a thrill ride through shark-infested waters. We hope they asked for their money back.

The movie casts off with an underwater set piece involving characters too thinly drawn to care about, and ends with another that’s so dimly lit you can’t make out who is being ripped to pieces. The hope is that it’s everyone… screenwriters included.

Sandwiched in between are 90 life-sapping minutes in which half a dozen obnoxious douches on a boat aimlessly bicker amongst themselves while tension, plot and logic take a well earned nap down below.

Dark Tide’s director John Stockwell also made Blue Crush and Into The Blue (both fun, frothy and forgettable), so he should know how to point a camera at a hot actress in swimwear. However, his insipid direction actually makes the stunning Halle Berry as alluring as Chuck Berry.

The script is pitched at the level of an infant school play – with structure, pacing and direction that even a proud parent would walk out on in disgust. The scant details we can glean about each of the paper-thin characters renders them all utterly detestable, while the entire movie is permanently on the brink of capsizing under the sizeable weight of it’s own tedium.

dark tide

Their careers disappearing into the distance.

Everyone looks bored. Everyone looks embarrassed. It resembles a charmless corporate video that just happens to feature an international superstar. Even the glorious South African coastline is made to more look like Bridlington in winter.

Box office estimates for the UK suggest that the movie made a grand total of £90. Not 90 million, not 90 thousand…£90. This means that Dark Tide attracted between 10 and 15 unfortunate paying customers on its, presumably, one and only day of release- roughly half the number of the film’s 23 credited producers. However, that’s 10-15 people more than caught it in the US, where the film never even saw the inside of a cinema. Not bad for a film that cost $25m.

Speaking about her experiences on Dark Tide, which ultimately saw the two leading actors pair up off-screen as well as on, Berry admits that she met her fiancé “on a shit movie.” Well that’s all well and good if you’re jammy enough to be Olivier Martinez, but not so much if you’ve had to manically paddle, open-mouthed, through the raw sewage washed up by this particular Dark Tide.

The deceptively competent Dark Tide trailer…

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