Don’t mess with sharks. If the fact that they’re huge, strong and deadly doesn’t put you off enough then Dark Tide just might. Starring the beautiful Halle Berry and French actor Olivier Martinez, Dark Tide follows a woman with some kind of connection with sharks. Making informational videos with her husband on board a ship, we see her swim with the giant fish fearlessly until disaster strikes, you can probably see where this is going. A year later she’s back in the sea, I wonder what happens next…
Of a similar ilk to Jaws and The Deep Blue Sea, Dark Tide puts a group of people on a boat and watches them struggle against the wrath of mother nature in the shape of a great white shark. Unlike many other films Dark Tide‘s sharks actually look real, not like a giant rubber bath toy *cough* Jaws *cough*, so it’s slightly easier to relate to. Wrongly pegged by iMDB as a thriller with sharks ‘more carnivorous and hungry than ever’ you’d be forgiven for believing it to be an action packed, blood soaked romp but it isn’t, and it actually bears more similarities to recent French-Belgian romantic drama Rust and Bone, but in a good way. The characters are likeable (apart from one, but rooting for someone to die makes it all the more enjoyable) so for a drama it works quite well.
The cinematography is nice for the most part with stunning blue seas and some awesome shots of sharks and seals and other stunning sea life, however the scenes in the dark when most of the action takes place are very difficult to see. Ultimately this aids the realism because the action is happening in the dark, but squinting at the TV and wondering whether it’s the TV or the film itself is never fun. I’m all for subtlety, but when you can’t even see at all what’s going on it’s less thought provoking and more annoying. The underwater shots of Halle Berry‘s character Kate swimming with sharks and carefully deflecting their advances by pushing against their noses are beautiful to watch, the scenes are drawn out, really emphasising the majesty of the creatures which is something that a lot of these kinds of films lack, and it really gets you wondering how they shot it because the sharks are real. If they’re not then Dark Tide has some of the best visual effects and CGI I’ve ever seen!
Pretty to look at with characters that you can really get attached to (and one that you can really loathe) Dark Tide is an enjoyable watch. There’s humour in the script and the film benefits from taking some of the focus off the action and putting it on the more captivating drama and visuals. As a drama fan I really enjoyed it, don’t be put off by the less than flattering reviews and ratings that are lurking around online.