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March 7, 2007 | Comments ()


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Where are the &%#$ing Sharks?!

Real-Time Review of Open Water 2 / Dustin Rowles

Film Reviews | March 7, 2007 | Comments ()


00:00: I didn’t even see the first Open Water, but somehow I don’t feel like that’s a hindrance to writing this review. From my vague recollections of the previews, it looked like The Blair Witch in the water, and I’m guessing that everyone died in the end. Already, it’s the only hope I have for the sequel, especially seeing that the movie opens with a bunch of folks in their 20s drinking beer and belching on the beach. And, as we all know, you belch, you die.

01:52: Oh shit … one of those guys is definitely Eric Dane, TV’s Dr. McSteamy, who looks decidedly less so without the facial hair. More like Dr. McDweeby.

02:52: Oh, good. We are told that Open Water 2: Adrift is based on true events. Is it the same true events that the original was based upon, or is it based upon an entirely different set of people stranded in the ocean? I once fell off a dock out in the middle of a lake and dog-paddled for a good 15 minutes before pulling myself back up on the dock. I wonder if Open Water 2 is based on me?

03:04: It’s set in Mexico. Two people are driving in a car, singing to their child, indicating maturity, I suppose. They are going to meet their old friends, featured briefly on a beach in the first seconds of the film. Jesus — is the baby going into the water, too? No one wants to see an infant drown.

04:00: Fun facts: Three of the six cast members did at least one episode of one of the “CSI” shows. Eric Dane’s first two television appearances were as bit parts on episodes of “Saved by the Bell” and “The Wonder Years.” Fascinating, right?

06:07: Attractive Mom (Susan May Pratt) looks pensive and worried. She has visions of people drowning. And of crosses on chains. It’s about as eerie as an episode of “The Ghost Whisperer.” Pratt’s claim to fame appears to be her role as “Nymph #1” on an episode of “Charmed” entitled, “Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun.” In the film, Attractive Mom is married to Bland-Looking Dad (Richard Speight Jr.), who has/had a lengthy stint on “Jericho.”

07:25: The boat’s name is Godspeed. The irony is rich. And witty.

08:00: Once on the boat, the four friends discover McSteamy fornicating with the requisite hot blond (Cameron Richardson, #52 on 2005’s Maxim Hot 100). My prediction: She’ll die fourth — destined to hang around long enough to keep the horny teenage-boy demographic salivating.

09:00: They are celebrating one of the guy’s birthdays, Niklaus Lange, best known as “Annoying 2L” in Legally Blonde. He gets a cake with two breasts on it: “Breast Wishes.” Now that’s a clever play on words.

12:00: Another prediction: McSteamy bites it first. He’s got another job to get to.

12:30: Attractive Mom is the only one wearing a life jacket. She’s first billed, so she may actually survive the film. Strike that: New prediction: she straps the preserver onto the infant, and after everyone else has drowned, a boat comes along to save the baby. Babies aren’t allowed to die in films. It’s un-American.

14:50: Annoying 2L and 2L’s girlfriend (Alis Hill, who has two episodes of “Felicity” under her belt), stand at the bow (or is it the stern?) and proclaim, “I’m the King of the World.” If this were a drinking game, I’d already be drunk.

16:30: Hot Blonde needs to cool off. Looks like they’re going for a swim. Weird sexual tension between McSteamy and Attractive Mom, who stay behind.

20:00: Twenty minutes in and absolutely nothing has happened yet. Where are the sharks?

21:00: Attractive Mom is absolutely terrified of the water, so McSteamy does the expected: He picks her up and jumps into the water with her. There’s no one left on the boat but the baby. More visions from Mom - it’s apparent that they are of her childhood, recollections of her Dad drowning, which explains why Mom is terrified of the water and why she’s currently comatose.

23:30: Dumbass McSteamy forgot to drop the ladder before jumping in. They are so totally fucked now. My grammar check is suggesting that I replace “totally” with “very,” though “so very fucked” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

26:00: Hot Blonde is the first to start whining. “I’m cold. And I don’t want to drown.” Oh, shut up and drown already.

27:00: Wouldn’t it be awesome if the infant crawled out of the cabin and let down the ladder and the movie ended? I could really go for some wings right now.

29:00: Annoying 2L injects some much needed levity: “Someone got a cigarette?” Man, if I did, I’d poke it in your eye. And pray that you’d drown.

30:00: Hot blonde is totally freaking out now. She thinks there’s a shark. God, let there be a shark.

31:31: Now McSteamy thinks he sees a shark. Awesome. We’re finally getting somewhere. Unfortunately, no one is bleeding, so it’s leaving them alone for the moment. C’mon! What a fucking tease.

32:00: The blame game begins. McSteamy: “Who died and made you fucking Captain Nemo … hey, MacGyver, why don’t you build something.” Damn. Who wrote this? Those allusions are brilliantly esoteric. Oh, here we go: Adam Kreutner wrote it. He also wrote Dead Fish, a Gary Oldman film that someone on the IMDb message boards tried to nominate for worst movie of the decade. Oh, please. The only way it could be the worst movie of the decade is if Oldman put on a fat suit and pretended to be a large, Ebonics-speaking black woman. No, strike that — if Oldman did that, Dead Fish might be nominated for best movie of the decade.

33:00: Attractive Mom just now remembers that her baby is still on board. Gold star for her mothering skills.

35:00: Hot Blonde continues to freak out. Now, she’s praying. Dear God — where the hell is the shark already? She’s gotta know that prayer only provokes the shark’s anger.

38:00: She will not shut up. “I’m cold. So cold.” Kreutner stole that line from Titanic.

40:00: Someone’s shirt is hanging off the boat. McSteamy jumps up and grabs it. It has a cell phone in it. It’s wet. Doesn’t appear to work. Annoying 2L tosses it in the ocean, because he’s an idiot. And as we all know, idiots are what make films like this work.

41:30: Hot blonde is freaking out again. Man — I wish Hot Blonde were Dead Blonde already. Where are the motherfucking sharks?

41:45: Mrs. Pajiba-Hyphenate walks in: “Is that the movie about the husband and wife who get stranded out at sea?” Me: “Not exactly. It’s the sequel.” MPH: “You know, that is my worst fear.” Me: “Mine is being forced to finish this movie.”

42:00: Bland-Looking Dad is suffering from cramps. Yeah. This apparently counts as dramatic momentum.

42:15: McSteamy has an idea — make a rope out of their shorts. You know, he only wants to see the ladies in the buff. Sudden realization: Without his beard, McSteamy looks like Bo Duke.

43:15: Another yacht floats by, mistakes their wails and arm waving for cheering. They take off their tops and wave back. Who knew? Waving is always friendlier without a top.

46:00: Now, they’re all naked. Uh oh. Bland-Looking Dad is trying to fuck with the rotor while they attempt to throw the makeshift-rope on top of the yacht. He’s got a knife (where he got it, I have no fucking idea). This is going nowhere good. I can tell, because the music is suddenly ominous. You know what would be awesome right now? Sharks.

47:25: The rope catches. Joy! Annoying 2L attempts to climb it. The rope breaks. Bland-looking Dad is still fucking with the rotor. Dad drops a knife. Races down to get it. Catches it. Floats quickly back up. Hit his head on the rotor. Skull fracture. There’s blood. Oh yeah. You know what sharks like, right?

50:30: Where’d the knife come from, anyway? Annoying 2L grabs it away, goes wild with it, and starts to stab the yacht for reasons that aren’t entirely obvious. Maybe he thinks he can kill the yacht. Or mug it. Steal its wallet and make a mad dash for it.
51:00: McSteamy gets angry because Annoying 2L is stabbing his yacht; they fight. McSteamy accidentally stabs 2L in the stomach, which is a total dick move if you ask me. On the positive side, there’s a whole lot of blood. A whole lot. Maybe even enough to attract the attention of a shark.

52:00: The baby’s awake. Screaming. That’s gotta be a fun noise to hear while Annoying 2L is bleeding to death. The infant, clearly, has no manners.

53:30: For no good reason, Hot Blonde says fuck it. She gives up. Swims away. And, inexplicably, sinks to her death. Wow. Hot Blonde is the first to bite it. This movie is so unpredictable. (Really, though, don’t bodies float in water? I knew I should’ve bought the home version of Letterman’s “Will it Float?” Then I’d know for sure.)

56:00: Annoying 2L continues to bleed; he’s talking like Leo in the last seconds of Titanic: “I … er … I … wish … I hadn’t … called … you a … bitch.” Famous last words.

58:00: Bland-Looking Dad goes completely Ricky Martin and starts girl-slapping McSteamy, blaming him because Annoying 2L is dead. Mom says, “Stop it.” Dad says, “You’re taking his side. Old fires always burn, right?” Man. It’s a helluva time to be bringing up fire, ain’t it?

59:00: McSteamy decides that now is confession time. It’s like The Breakfast Club, only in water. He says the yacht isn’t his. His entire life is a lie. It’s his boss’s yacht. He really wishes it were his. Where’s his comeuppance, damn it?! You know, if this were Deep Blue Sea, a shark would swallow him mid-apology. Instead, McSteamy is now McWeepy.

60:00: At the one-hour mark, just to recap, we have four folks floating around, one with a skull fracture. Two dead. And a baby still on the yacht. Still, no fucking sharks. What a sham.

64:00: Now that Annoying 2L is floating face-down, his girlfriend decides to try swimming ashore. It’s at least 30 miles. Off she goes. Helluva butterfly stroke, she has. Three remain.

66:00: The baby is fussy as hell. Give me a break, child. Two people are dead, one is presumed missing, and three more are clinging to their lives. And you want a fucking bottle? Jesus, get some perspective. Infants can be so self-absorbed.

70:00: The film actually seems to be moving slower as it progresses. Float. Glurp. Float. Glurp. I miss the discordant shrieks of Hot Blonde. The way they made my ears bleed. You just don’t know what you have until it’s gone, do you?

71:00: Rain! Too bad that infant ain’t in the water. It’s ideal baptism weather.

72:00: Bland-Looking Dad has finally given in to the skull fracture and passes away in his sleep. Mom lets out primal scream. Two remain. Still, no sign of the sharks.

73:00: McSteamy has been swimming around for hours now looking for that damn knife, though it’s hard to imagine that it’s not seven miles under the ocean. Ah, well — I suppose it gives him something to do to pass the time. Beats watching Open Water 2: Adrift, I can tell you that much.

74:00: Attractive Mom is singing “Frère Jacques” to Bland-looking Dad’s corpse. It’s a touching moment.

75:00: It’s pouring now. It’s raining pitchforks.

76:00: McSteamy is screaming, “It should’ve been me!” I don’t know whether he’s saying “it should’ve been me” who died, or if he’s just singing a Ray Charles song. The way he’s thrashing around suggests it might be the Ray Charles song (man, that was in bad taste — my apologies).

77:00: McSteamy found a piece of glass on the hull. He stabs it into the side of the yacht. At first, I’m thinking he’s fallen under the same delusion as Annoying 2L, and that he, too, is trying to stab the yacht to death. It’s not the case, here. He stabs it in, and then uses the shard of glass for leverage. He’s cutting his hand to ribbons, while screaming/singing, “It should’ve been me” Wait. Mom is climbing on his back, trying to get up. She falls. Tries again.

78:00: She makes it. She climbs up on McSteamy and gets back on the yacht. She lets down the ladder — $47 says a shark gets McSteamy before he gets on the ladder. If not, then this movie is insufferably lame. One motherfucking shark attack. Is that too much to ask?

80:00: Mom runs in and checks on her baby. The baby is crying, but otherwise unharmed.

81:00: Mom fell asleep with baby and never thought to check on McSteamy. She wakes up and finally goes above board and searches around in the rain. She’s yelling. Finally, she spots him floating 20 yards from the yacht. What the fuck? Nearly a full day in the water and he can’t wait for the ladder to come down. She throws him a life preserver. No good.

82:00: This is the part, apparently, where she conquers her fear of water (after floating around in it for 15 hours) and jumps in the ocean to save McSteamy.

84:00: McSteamy managed to float around for at least an hour while Mom was asleep. And now, suddenly, as she makes her way toward him, he decides to sink. Dumb shit.

85:00: Right after she goes under, the screen fades. Suddenly, it’s the next day. The sun is up. A fishing boat passes by and sees what looks like an abandoned boat. The director hits us with a bit of suspense — a baby is crying, but there is no sign of life otherwise. Did Mom drown going in after McSteamy?

87:00: We’ll never know. The fishing boat sees an abandoned ship, but we are also treated to a brief dream-like sequence with Mom and McSteamy aboard. What are we supposed to believe?! I guess it’s up to us to decide. That’s so artistic. Just really, amazingly thought-provoking. I love how folks will slap on an ambiguous ending to an otherwise dreadfully shitty flick and try to convince us we just saw something profound. You know what would’ve been profound? A motherfucking shark or three. Some strewn limbs. Dismembered torsos. A violent demise or six, instead of a skull fracture, a bloodless drowning, and an accidental stabbing. Can you believe this shit? Only three deaths, none of which was at all spectacular. Is this how the first Open Water ended? They just drowned? What a waste.

But listen, folks. I wouldn’t let you go out like that. I have to believe that most of you came into this live-review expecting sharks. And sharks are what you shall get. I’ve done the honors of uploading a video onto YouTube of the greatest shark attack of all time. And I even added German Swedish Norwegian subtitles for our friends in Deutschland Sverige Norge.

Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.


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