Moby Dick (2010)
(15) Running time: 87 minutes
Director: Trey Stokes
Writer: Paul Bales, Herman Melville
Starring: Barry Bostwick, Renee O’Connor, Matt Lagan
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Usually when it comes to reviewing movies from production company, The Asylum, I love it. All those school boy errors, all those ludicrous plot ideas, massive plot holes and mistakes, terrible special effects, cheesy characters; the list goes on and on. Usually, it is fun to ‘be in on the joke’ with The Asylum and laugh along with them. You can imagine them all getting together to make one of these classic ‘so bad they’re brilliant’ type movies’ and having a jolly good time making it, maybe even laughing to themselves that people like me will actually watch it. See, usually I can see the fun side to these movies, and usually it is very clear they are making the film for good, fun, clean and comical entertainment aimed at people who will most probably be drunk while watching it. Sadly, Moby Dick has none of those charms or characteristics…
This is director Trey Stokes’ first full length feature film, and on the evidence of this, will probably be his last. The biggest flaw with Moby Dick is the fact the film is played serious, and when the makers know their film is rubbish but can’t laugh along with you at how bad it is, then all the fun is lost. This film is amazingly played serious, with scenes actually trying to be thrilling and edge of your seat stuff. The cast are all making out they are acting in some Oscar worthy work of brilliance, and very rarely do we see the usual over the top madness of The Asylum’s usual output. The even worse part is not one of these sorry sods can string together a line properly, or let alone act convincingly. Added to this some of the worst, most irritating and repetitive music I have heard in a film for a long long time, some of the worst use of special effects, and a general feeling that no one could be bothered, and we are left with a total waste of yours and my time!
The film very loosely centers on the story of Captain Ahab (Bostwick) and his hunt for the giant white whale (here the whale is grey, and is 400 feet long!). I say loosely because that is all the connection you get. Ahab’s search for revenge see’s him on a submarine, with a crew full of sailors dressed as army men. They enlist the help of Marine Biologist Michelle Herman (O’Connor) by simply popping up out of the ocean in their submarine right next to her tiny research boat, and the hunt is on for the whale which has been attacking innocent people again. Ahab is obsessed with finding the whale, and even a helicopter sent by the armed forces to stop him (how can a helicopter stop a nuclear sub?) won’t put an end to Ahab’s madness. He will even plunge to depths far deeper than any sub could probably go in order to try and “tire out the whale” The film is so incredibly far fetched and stupid it is hard to even laugh along with it. Then there’s the ridiculous use of special effects which, in all fairness, are not all that bad.
The whale is a great creation, looking like a cross between a shark and a sperm whale, and its sheer size it wonderful to look at. However, lazy filmmaking like the enormous beast managing to swim in waters less then 10 feet deep, or even bury itself in the sand so that when an officer is stood on the shore, the whale is actually lying beneath him, is total madness. Hell, the darned thing even crawls up the beach, over rocks and jumps in the air in a attempt to belly flop the ant sized crew! It is stupid, supposed to be fun, but sadly is not. I tried to go along with it, I really did, but when the submarine shoots up in the water at 100 mph and jumps out of the sea like a predatory Great White, I was lost. If you can make it to the final moments, then maybe you can explain how a 400 foot whale, forced into SHALLOW waters of an island manages to swim, full speed from the ocean bottom in order to jump out the water!! Over the top, stupid as hell and for all its mistakes, the film really could, and should have gone down as another Asylum classic, had they not attempted to be so boringly serious. Big, big mistake!