BLU-RAY REVIEW: Dark Tide
Halle Berry swims with the fishes in this straight to video release...
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No matter what anyone said, I used to think Halle Berry was a great actress. She is of course an Academy Award winner and I loved her as Storm in the X-Men movies. Heck, I even cheered for her after she did 2003's Gothika, which wasn't so great. Then again, in 2004, when she made Catwoman, I tried to find the positive, which was almost impossible.
Of all of the A-List actresses in Hollywood over the 15 or so years, few have seen the rise and fall of the spotlight like Halle Berry. She went from the top of her game 10 years ago in Monster's Ball to literally making direct-to-video releases like Dark Tide. And while Dark Tide isn't nearly as bad as some movies out there, it's still pretty hard to find any real redeeming value that can't be had better on Nat Geo or Animal Planet.
Dark Tide comes courtesy of director John Stockwell, who's a fan of filming in and around the water. His other notable films include Blue Crush and Into the Blue and, while neither of those are blockbusters, both were fairly decent yarns. Dark Tide, on the other hand, seems like a hastily conceived made-for-TV movie which strives to be dramatic and comes across as cliche at best and boring at worst.
Dark Tide opens with Kate (Berry) working in South Africa as one of the best Marine Biologists and shark experts in the world. She's one of the few who'll swim "outside the cage" with the Great Whites, a major no-no for those of us without a death wish. However, after a fatal accident leaves her crew incomplete, she - of course - blames herself and goes on hiatus. One year later, her estranged boyfriend (Olivier Martinez) comes to her with a proposal that'll help get them out of debt: a thrill-seeking businessman and his son want to dive "outside the cage" with Great Whites and they're willing to pay to make it happen. So what happens when an expert diver who's been out of the water for a year takes an inexperienced playboy and his 20-something son on the adventure of a lifetime? Let's just say it includes a lot of tantrums, some hungry sharks, blood in the water, a capsized boat, and bad writing.
While Berry and the rest of the cast of Dark Tide do a decent job of acting, the script is simply unimpressive, unengaged, and down right laughable at times. Screenwriters Ronnie Christensen and Amy Sorlie bring to life one of Sorlie's stories which is either simply too tired or too overdone to feel anything like original. In fact, the only real redeeming value of the film is the gorgeously captured underwater scenes. The sharks come to life and truly look marvelous and, as sad as it is to say it, you'll find yourself cheering for the sharks as they're capture on film is really the only impressive part of this movie.
The film includes a solid English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track which does provide some impressive scenes which will have you checking over your shoulder for a big fish. Of course, the film's 1080p transfer is also good, with
As for special features, the film includes a number of trailers and that's it. Nothing much to find impressive here. Though, I didn't expect much and have to admit were there a "making of" featurette, I may have - and probably would have - enjoyed it better than the feature film.
All in all, Dark Tide is one that will only appeal to die-hard water enthusiasts. If you're a diver, enjoy swimming with the fishes (in the literal sense) and want to see some really beautiful camera work, Dark Tide has something to offer. Likewise, if you're a firm supporter of Halle Berry and - come thick or thin - still think she's a great actress, I suggest you give Dark Tide a try. You'll either find yourself changing sides and finally admitting your mistake or you'll find something redeemable about the film and continue to give Berry the love and attention she earned over a decade ago.
Dark Tide is rated PG-13 for bloody shark attacks/disturbing images, and for language including sexual references and is available now wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
Re: BLU-RAY REVIEW: Dark Tide
I could never understand her success and considered her to be one of the most over-hyped actresses of the past 15 years, so I'm happy to see her sinking back to where she belongs.
Keep it up and good riddance!