Excitingly beautiful yet stirring and dangerous the sharks set the center of Dark Tide a chiller now on Blu-ray and DVD. The film stars Academy Award winner Halle Berry in one of her most challenging roles and directed by John Stockwell who gave the world the picturesque film Into the Blue.
The movie centers on Kate (Berry) a strong willed free form skin diver that’s recognized as the number one person in the world who can swim with sharks. A terrorizing feat that most would shy from, with Kate it’s breathtakingly beautiful. On one occasion while getting film footage of one of her dives, a shark attacks and kills her best friend and fellow diver.
A year later we find her abandoned from her dream and in debt about to lose her boat. Visited by here ex-boyfriend and photographer Jeff (Olivier Martinez) he offers her a job taking out a client to swim with the sharks. She balks at the idea, still having doubts from the tragic shark attack. After some persuasion and a fee that would get her out of debt however, she takes the job. When the boat starts having trouble in shark alley and a storm starts to churn the seas, Kate must work fast to save all from the killer fish.
Dark Tide has some awesome footage of twenty-foot great whites swimming close to the boat, alongside divers and the underwater cage. The most amazing shots however are those with Kate as she strokes the huge sea creatures and grabs a fin for a ride. The underwater photography is clear and crisp so with the Blu-ray format you can see close-up every pour and scar on the mighty sharks. The graceful beauty of Kate moving in the water forms a sensuous rhythm ballet that’s amazingly choreographed.
Much like he did in Into the Blue Director John Stockwell takes his time with the underwater scenes. Maybe just a little too much here however, because when you are shooting a film that’s excitement driven, too many ballet water scenes slows down a film. This lag does tend to cause some drifting so be aware that this is probably not a movie for late night viewing. But, stick with Dark Tide as it will give you all the thrills and chills promised.
Halle Berry gives a great performance as Kate the disenchanted diver who looses her best friend. I can’t recall Berry ever giving a bad performance and remember her for films like Monster’s Ball and Swordfish where she heats up the screen.
With Martinez in Dark Tide there’s a different kind of chemistry going on that brings them together yet keeps them apart. You can feel the heat when they work together at sea, but when trouble between them becomes immanent their relationship turns cold. Keeping it suspenseful the Berry and Martinez show emotions that run the gamut from bitter memories to urgent action.
The film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for bloody shark attacks/disturbing images, and for language including sexual references. Expect scenes that are very chilling and gruesome.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A good film that keeps suspense high. ★★★★★★
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