Within the first minutes Shark Killer certainly lives up to its name as ace shark hunter Chase Walker (Theler) slays a pesky shark that has been terrorising a Hawaiian beach, attempting to chomp on all the sun soaking youngsters. After this heavy Jaws referencing opening, Chase is called by his estranged brother to jet to South Africa in order to track and kill an infamous black-finned shark. Said shark has swallowed a valuable diamond (!) and Chase’s brother wants it back pronto. Local crime boss and all round loon, Nix (Vosloo) also wants said diamond and after threatening Chase and his attractive lady cohort he has teamed up with, Jasmine (Cerra), the race is on to find the shark, get the diamond and dodge Nix’s goons.
With the spate of killer animal creature features flooding the market seemingly never ending (fine by this reviewer!), Shark Killer (despite its over-the-top inducing title) is a little more subdued than your Mega Piranhas, Arachnoquakes and Sharknados. It’s all still quite silly but more of a jaunty crime caper along the South African coast than an all out creature feature. The shark of the title is there but more lurking in the background, causing trouble now and again and the flick is more concerned with Chase getting into fisticuffs, arguing with his brother and sharing sparky banter with Jasmine. No bad thing really, though those looking for mega shark action may be somewhat disappointed.
The film cruises along on its nicely lensed locations and the bubbly banter of the two leads. While Theler’s Chase is on occasion a bit too much of a smug douche and Cerra’s Jasmine a bit too bumbling (when’s she obviously smarter and stronger than all the men around her), the leads are ultimately likable and bounce the banter between one another with charm. Arnold Vosloo (Hard Target, The Mummy) is good value as the bonkers baddie if a little underused and bizarrely often dressed up as some sort of saw-type torture villain (!). As mentioned, there is not that much shark action but there are plenty of fist fights, chases and explosions to liven events up and the whole thing rockets along unpretentiously on its characters’ charm and the picturesque South African locations.
Not as crazy or as CGI filled as a lot of other recent creature feature madness and those of you who prefer your Nolan, Herzog and Scorsese will no doubt one star it (or probably not even watch it!) but those looking for some breezy entertainment with a pesky shark on the loose, Shark Killer is a hoot.
Review by Andrew Skeates