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Dark Tide (Blu-ray Review)

21 Apr, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

Street 4/24/12
$27.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for bloody shark attacks/disturbing images, and for language including sexual references.
Stars Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown.

“She’s the only one in the world who does it,” Olivier Martinez’s character intones to a rich British businessman, who wants to hire Halle Berry’s shark-whisperer character to help him and his son swim — outside the cage — with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa.

The Brit should have seen the first five minutes of the movie he’s in: NOBODY in the world should be doing this.

Lionsgate’s Dark Tide — which saw a premium VOD release before a quick stopover in theaters — sees Berry as a renowned shark expert who takes an extended break from messing with the monsters after her friend is chewed apart before her eyes. Enter ex-boyfriend (and real-life fiancé) Martinez, who brings along a wealthy jerk (Ralph Brown of Alien 3 and The Crying Game) who’s got 100,000 euros in his pocket (to go along with an apparent death wish), ready to pay for the chance to swim with great whites … during mating season … in a storm.

Yeah, this is going to end well.

For a real-life couple in love, Berry and Martinez provide surprisingly few on-screen sparks, and none of the characters register anything above a shrug when it comes to caring about them or their motives. You’re almost rooting for the sharks at some points.

However, Dark Tide does its job as a decent thriller, with brilliant underwater shark scenes, a few edge-of-your-seat-worthy moments and just enough blood in the water. Sometimes director John Stockwell (Into the Blue, Turistas) uses Jaws-like “Where’s the shark?” work to ratchet up the suspense, while most of the shark sightings in this film are very clear, and feel very real.

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