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Review – Halle Berry In A Skimpy Bikini Wasn’t Enough To Keep Me Interested In “Dark Tide”

Review - Halle Berry In A Skimpy Bikini Wasn't Enough To Keep Me Interested In "Dark Tide"

Well… it’s not as terrible as I expected it to be?

How’s that as an opener? :)

Or maybe it’s just a case of lowered expectations on my part that were indeed met.

You know the story… location: beautiful coastal South Africa where eels, dolphins, sharks and other ocean life are in abundance; tour giver and professional shark diver played by Halle Berry witnesses the death of a fellow shark diver and close friend, at the hands of a shark, which does a number on her psychologically, sending her into a yearlong sabbatical from the work… as well as from her estranged marriage to a husband played by Olivier Martinez.

A year later, business is dead, she’s in debt, and she gets an offer she can’t quite refuse from a wealthy mysterious customer who also happens to be a thrill-seeker (his last expedition saw him climb Mount Everest where he lost a good friend to the elements – a similar experience his character has with Halle’s).

The customer wants to swim with the fishes – or I should say the sharks – despite Halle’s warnings that he could instead end up sleeping with the fishes, given how treacherous and unpredictable the experience can be. But that doesn’t deter him; he’s a thrill-seeker; as he says, he likes to have his courage tested, and he’s also very persuasive – 100,000 Euros persuasive. And she needs to money, so, eventually, she agrees (with some manipulation of the situation from her estranged hubby).

Oh and the rich guy brought his troubled teen son along for the ride – a teen son who despises him.

So here we go… the stage is set; the narrative plays out aboard a boat called the Volante, as shark-biting action takes a back seat to family dramatics, as husband and wife (Halle and Olivier) grapple with what’s left of their marriage (disagreements that lead to arguments as past events are regurgitated), and father and son wrestle with their own troubled relationship (or lack thereof).

Where’s all the frigging Jaws-like tension and action? There’s actually very little of it – not until the last 15 minutes or so, when more people die, but you’re left wondering why.

Much of the film is filled with, as already noted, relationship drama (husband/wife, father/son), and, in the end, I can’t say that anything is resolved, or anyone experiences some form of redemption or catharsis; unless the deaths at the end were somehow meant to be a representation of that; but, again, the deaths randomly happen (and brutally so, compared to the rest of the PG13 film), and therefore were actually somewhat of a shock, but not necessarily in a good way.

It also doesn't help that those sequences are just not very well shot, so you never really feel the tension that I think the filmmakers were going for there.

In the end, I just didn’t care very much (about any of the characters, nor the story) to feel much of anything for the film. It was just kind of blah; Dull.

The coastal South African location was maybe the most thrilling thing about; it certainly helped contribute to the creation of some beautiful camera images – the waters (both above and under), the ocean life, the sun and breeze. I wanted to be there physically; but there’s very little else to hold your attention, and that’s unfortunate for Halle more-so than any of the other actors in this.

She’s the star; an actress who still clearly has appeal (and I don’t just mean physically; she’s after all still getting work); however, she’s also seen a string of underperformers in recent years, and her career could really use a jolt. The headlines are far more interested in her personal life as she and the father of her child duke it out in the courts (interesting correlation to what’s happening with her character in the film; also interesting when you consider that she ended up dating the actor who plays her husband in the film).

She could use some new headlines in which her professional career as an actress dominate; I'm really looking forward to Cloud Atlas.

So, it’s actually difficult to review a film like this – one that doesn’t elicit a strong reaction from you in either direction, whether positive or negative; it’s just lifeless, and you just stop caring; the worst thing that can happen to a movie – when its audience doesn’t care.

But as you’re watching it, you can see that there very well could’ve been a solid thriller in there somewhere – maybe in a different writer/director’s hands. The initial setup is good enough; but the filmmaking (writing, acting, direction, editing) just doesn't deliver.

The film seems all-too content with having Halle Berry as its star, that there doesn’t seem to have been much effort put into developing a strong narrative with interesting 3-dimensional characters. You get that the filmmakers were going for a character-driven thriller; but the relationship drama between the pairs just doesn’t hold. It’s monotonous, and gets rather boring very quickly, as you start fishing (pun intended) for other aspects of the film to sink your teeth into (I’m on a roll :)); and all that really remains is the shark action.

But as I already noted, there’s actually very little of that.

So what’s left?

Well, lots of Halle Berry in a tiny bikini :)

Ho-hum.

It'll be in theaters March 30th.

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Comments

Donella

Maybe Halle should take a hand as producer more often. It seems her projects do better when she's actively involved in the creation of the package.

Quentin

Just saw the trailer and… I hate the people who wrote and directed this s***.

C. Jones

Did you really write "fishes"… TWICE???!!

Orville

Okay, I think Tambay's review although he tries to be fair I can't help but think because Halle is the only A list black actress there is more beneath the surface.

Halle probably took Dark Tide for a decent pay cheque but I have high hopes Cloud Atlas will do well and give her a much needed hit.

It is so sad that Halle is getting stuff like Dark Tide while her white female counterparts get the juicy film roles.

I think people are a bit too critical of Halle Berry she is a SOLID actress. I enjoyed Halle's performances TV film in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Queen, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Halle is an Oscar, SAG, and Emmy award winning actress. Yes, Halle is beautiful but it is not her fault that God gave this woman stunning looks. In Hollywood, looks are important but she's also a good actress. Halle was excellent in Losing Isaiah, Things We Lost In A Fire as well.

Marl and Darla

Maybe I am looking at Halle acting sitting upside down, cause what I have seen from her for the past twenty years is excellent. Loved her acting and character in Boomerang, her fuck scene in MB was so convincing to me , I wonder if she drop pussy juice on Billy Boy.

Nadine

BTW – not to be negative, but the trailer needs a heck of a lot of work. The should have brought the boat turning over into the narrative much earlier. Knock the trailer down by 20 secs. The first minute could have been condensed to 10 secs and then continued at 1 min mark. Trailers are so important, I'd rather Halle not have to contend with a horrible trailer too.

leelee

I would go see it just to support a film starring a black actress and for the ocean scenes.

Lotus

It has to be something other than her looks and skin tone. There are a million light skinned chicks who will get naked on command in Hollywood. That doesn't make her stand out, I feel that Halle can act. She was very good in things we lost in the fire, Frankie and Alice and Monsters Ball. She needs to do a shall I say it?……. A black film of high quality, like Ray or Lackawanna Blues with a black leading man and reconnect with her black audience.

Suzan

I think Halle is a solid actress/ actor with that said Hallie should get a new Manager and also take advantage of her move to France – take some time to reinvent herself. Let's be real she's by no means Beyonce but with her horrible movie choices shes starting to look unpolished.

CareyCarey

Wait Monique & Nadine(below), I believe she did a very nice job in Things We Lost In The Fire (did y'all see that?). In that film her role opposite Benicio Del Toro was very convincing and touching. In fact, I've never thought Halle was overrated. Let's be real, there are plenty of light skin sistas who will show a little skin when a role calls for it. "They" didn't get to Halle's status. Point blank… Halle can act. Heck, even as far back as her crackhead character in Jungle Fever, the woman proved that she can carry a part that does not rely on her nice looks. So what do you two assume is the basis behind her success?

Monique

I agree that Halle is overrated. I will believe to my dying day that she got that Oscar bec the Academy knew it was way past to to give a black actress the award, so they gave it to the fair skinned beauty who had shown the world what she had to offer in an explicit scene with Billy Bob Thorton.

Monique A. Williams

I haven't seen a Halle Berry performance I enjoyed in years. I think she's overrated.

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