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Kate Mathieson is a shark expert whom has been hesitant to go back into the water since the tragic death of her mentor. She was once known for being able to swim with Great White Sharks without the protection of a cage. An old partner and boyfriend, Jeff, convinces her to face her inner demons and get back in the water with the fiercest of predators. As the teaser trailer and full-length trailer was released, I already had a strong feeling that Dark Tide would feature not only a simple plot, but one that never really shines. That's exactly what happened. I continued to wait for Dark Tide to pull me in, but it never truly managed to do so. The beginning of the movie attempts to develop some of the backstory of Kate and Jeff, but the conversations are extremely cliché with the outcomes being predictable. Once the father and son who are paying Kate and Jeff a large sum of money enter the story, the movie especially starts going downhill. Both of the characters are irritating, however the father is especially annoying. This is one of the many flaws of the movies, that we're left with no characters to root for since they all get on our nerves at one time or another. The pacing is a big issue here. There are times that the motion picture moves along at the pace of a snail. Long periods of time with no action and lame dialogue. While there is some interesting information about sharks that audiences that don't know much about the species will find informative, that's the most that this screenplay offers. The final act of Dark Tide is when the action kicks in, but the PG-13 shark violence doesn't make up for the let down, that is almost the entire film.
As the film was being advertised, the studio tried to milk fans of the main actress since she won an Oscar a while ago. The cast consists of Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown, Mark Elderkin, and Luke Tyler. Berry is enjoyed by many audiences, but I find many of her performances to be overrated. In addition, her choices in roles have been extremely poor. I'm not sure why she has been starring in such disappointing flicks lately. One would never guess that she has won an Academy Award by watching her performance as Kate Mathieson. Many different mediocre actresses could have played this character and conveyed the same skill level as Berry. Olivier Martinez is alright as Jeff. None of the performances here are good, but it's always disappointing to see a bad performance by an Oscar-winner. It feels as if she simply didn't try or put any effort into her character in Dark Tide.
There are a few different routes a filmmaker can take when creating a shark film. Two directions are that they could create it digitally, as they did in Shark Night, or use stock footage, as it was done in The Reef. Everybody who has seen CG sharks have witnessed how much of a disaster that can be, especially when one is trying to provoke fear. The stock footage featured in The Reef was very convincing and well-placed. Dark Tide opted to go the stock footage route with a few scenes of bad CG sharks. There are quite a few times where it was all too obvious that it was stock footage and not actually happening, while the CG scenes just looked bad. During such sequences, it definitely comes off as being cheesy. The rest of the visual department is actually solid. Some of the underwater scenes are actually quite breathtaking. Despite the fact that I watched this on-demand, the audio still proved to be decent. The dialogue was never difficult to hear and the surrounds were constantly active with atmospheric sounds.
My review should be quite clear that I didn't enjoy Dark Tide. I didn't expect very much from it and I was still disappointed. One of the only reasons why I even gave this a shot is due to the fact that it involved sharks. There isn't much interesting about the story and most certainly not anything regarding any of the characters or the acting. The visuals are actually pretty good, with the exception of the stock footage. The pacing should have been much quicker. The film is actually relatively short, clocking in at about an hour and a half, although it feels like much longer due to the fact that it moves slowly. It takes a long time for anything to happen and once it does, it simply doesn't make the wait worth it. Dark Tide isn't worth checking out, even for those interesting in sharks. I suggest either revisiting Jaws. However, if you're interested in seeing something more recent, then I suggest The Reef. Otherwise, you won't find anything other than disappointment with this shark flick.