Prehistoric killer-fish want to mate with Australia: “Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark”

April 11, 2014


So we come to it at last: the final chapter in the Mega Shark trilogy. It’s been a long, emotionally-wrought journey, as we followed this cartilage-framed anti-hero from the ice of the Arctic ocean to the wild, vibrant nightlife of Panama (the shark didn’t do any partying—he mostly just ate people). He confronted such nemesis’s (nemesi?) as Giant Octopuses, the US Navy, Crocasauruses, the US Navy again, and Deborah Gibson. But like all great series’—Breaking Bad, The Shield, Mystery Science Theater 3000—this one too must come to an end. And you gotta give The Asylum this much: with Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark they did indeed save the best for last.

So, MS v. MS begins in grand fashion as the Mega Shark—still scarred from the injuries he sustained during Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurusattacks the Egyptian port at Alexandria, where he not only trashes everything in sight, but, for good measure, tail-whacks a tugboat all the way to Giza where it decapitates a Sphynx (which is a good 180 kilometers away, but we’re using Michael Bay units of distance in this movie).

Well, this kicks off a global panic since this is after all a super-mega-banzai shark which destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge, plucked airlines out of the sky at cruising altitude, and pretty much destroyed the US Navy. As we hear in flurry of news reports all international air and sea travel has been suspended. So now, with the world’s economy at stake, the US Navy must confront and defeat this threat. Something they’ve been roundly incapable of in the past, but hope springs eternal, I guess.

And the score is still holding at Mega Shark: 257 US Navy: 0...

And the score is still holding at Mega Shark: 257 US Navy: 0…

Ah, but this time the Navy has a secret weapon: a gigantic mechanical shark with an AI that sounds like they stole it from Knight Rider. In charge of the Mecha Shark project is the husband and wife team of Jack Turner and Rosie Gray (Christopher Judge and Elisabeth Rohm—no I don’t know how to make the umlaut). Rosie is the pilot of the Mech (which mostly entails her turning control over to the KITT/Shark AI a lot), while Jack is the technical advisor (which means he mostly stares at screens and barfs expository dialogue about what we’ve just seen happen).

"Come at me, bro!"

“Come at me, bro!”

The first engagement goes pretty poorly for the mech and sinks several US Navy ships, of course (by this point I just have to assume the Navy brings along spares for the Mega Shark to sink), but Rosie and Jack figure out that the best way to use the Mech is simply to let the KITT/Shark drive, while Rosie presses the button to fire the torpedoes. Um…how much you figure Rosie is getting paid for this gig? Whatever it is it’s too much. 

Anyway, they get the hang of things just in time, as the Mega Shark attacks an offshore oil platform because, uh, he believes in renewable energy maybe? Dunno. But this causes an oil leak of Deepwater Horizon proportions. When Rosie and the Mech get there, they are able to swiftly cap the pipe by ramming into it and bending it half. Seriously, it’s just that easy. Takes less than five minutes. Why didn’t we have one of these things in 2010? Thanks Obama! 

"Elon Musk! says SUCK IT!"

“Elon Musk! says SUCK IT!”

And then a 727 wanders into the airspace above the leak, and the Mega Shark leaps up to eat it, only to be intercepted and knocked the hell away by the Mech! Yeah, it’s pretty tits.

"I can't help myself...I just can't stop eating these things."

I can’t help myself…I just can’t stop eating these things.”

Unfortunately, this pisses off the Mega Shark (understandable, really), and he goes all bitchcakes on the Mech, thrashing it pretty soundly, and leaving it adrift beneath the sea. It then goes off to do what it does best and pwn the US Navy. This time, it belly flops onto an aircraft carrier and sends 13 billion bucks into the briny depths. At this point I just have to wonder what we have a navy for beyond feeding it to the Mega Shark.

"Hope you weren't too attached to this carrier."

“Hope you weren’t too attached to this carrier.”

While Jack and Rosier and the KITT/Shark work to restore the Mech’s system and come up with a plan, the Mega Shark heads to Australia. Why? Well, this answer comes to us courtesy of Deborah Gibson herself (yay!) as she reprises her breakthrough role as marine biologist Emma MacNeil. Emma explains that the Mega Shark is horny and Australian accents turn him on (actually there’s some twaddle about Sydney being its breeding ground in the prehistoric days, but isn’t my explanation better?)

So, the Mech races to Sydney only to get thrashed again, and and end up beached on the Sydney Opera House. This latest humiliation messes up the Mech’s systems and AI is overridden by the Mech’s “drone mode.” Alas, drone mode doesn’t mean it blows up Pakistani weddings at the whim of some dude in Nebraska slurping a Big Gulp. Basically, it means the Mech goes all “crush/kill/destroy,” because, I guess someone in the Pentagon figured we’d eventually go to war with Australia (that’ll probably happen). Now this wouldn’t be a problem, as the Mech is beached on a world landmark and all, however the Mech also has a (cough) “amphibious mode,” in which it spawns tracks and becomes a huge Mardi Gras Float of Mass Destruction.

The only thing better is if she'd mud-wrestle Tiffany again.

The only thing that wopuld be better is if she’d mud-wrestle Tiffany again.

While the Mech is busy obeying its “kill the vegemite-eaters” program, Jack and Rosie mess around inside the Mech’s guts to re-establish control. When they do, they have the KITT/Shark AI take it out to sea, where it tricks the Mega Shark to bite its remaining torpedo pod. This blows the Mech and the Meg sky-high, while—in an obvious homage to Jaws: The Revenge—Jack and Rosie emerge from the sea pretty much totally dry.

But this crude form of communication doesn’t do justice to the awesomeness that this Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark. There’s also these elements:

* Dialogue like: “Everything’s fine!” Jack reassures Rosie, despite the fact there’s a belly-up Mecha Shark parked in the Sydney Opera House right behind them. Or, “Arm torpedo tubes!” Um, I’m no sailor, but I’m pretty certain you can’t “arm” a torpedo tube. “It’s huge!” one guy says of the Mega Shark, because, I guess, he wasn’t paying attention to the first part of its name.

* All those Stargate series did Judge well, since he acts the hell out of his every scene. It’s quite a contrast to Rohm, who never met a line of dialogue she couldn’t suck the life out of like one of the space vampires in Lifeforce.

* Gibson is so clearly not taking this movie seriously. She’s on the verge of laughing fits for most of her scenes and may actually be drunk.

If so, she's a fun drunk...

Or this. This is good too…

* The Mecha Shark is actually pretty buggy. Must have been manufactured by GM.

* This is a clear improvement over the last installment if only because there’s not an Urkel to be found.

* Oh…Jack and Rosie…I just got that.

* Whether you think this is better or worse than the first Mega Shark movie depends upon where you fall on the “octopus/mecha” debate. Now, longtime readers of this blog know that I’m an octopus guy. Still, I like the idea that the Navy just said “screw it, we don’t have any better ideas” and built a giant mechanical shark.

* And with that, a B-movie great swims off into the sunset. Safe journeys, Mega Shark, until we meet again.

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