Abysmal shark movie is more about suffering than sharks.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Requin is a shark attack movie, with a grieving couple (Alicia Silverstone and James Tupper) on vacation in Vietnam as the creatures' potential snacks. It's absolutely abysmal and includes lots of blood and gore (though it's largely fake-looking CG). Characters die, and viewers see severed limbs and bloody stumps, blood swirling in the water, humans attacking sharks with various weapons (including a pointy stick), people stitching up a bloody wound, and more. There are flashbacks to the main characters losing their daughter in childbirth, with a bathtub full of bloody water. Language is strong, with uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "damn," and more. The main characters kiss, and the woman is shown in a negligee and torn clothing. A character drinks from a jug of clear liquor on a fishing boat thinking it's water; the boat's captain takes a swig before using it as antiseptic on a wound.
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What's the Story?
In THE REQUIN, married couple Jaelyn (Alicia Silverstone) and Kyle (James Tupper) takes a luxury vacation in Vietnam while trying to recover from the death of their daughter during childbirth. They rent a cabin on the water and after a few days decide to cut things short and return home. But a monsoon hits, smashing into their cabin and sending it drifting out to sea. During the calamity, Kyle breaks his leg, and, in addition to their other troubles, the blood swirling into the water starts to attract killer sharks.
Is It Any Good?
Beyond the terrible writing, the shrill acting, the cheap-looking CGI, and the excruciatingly cruel backstory, this abominable shark movie commits the sin of barely even featuring any sharks. Considering that the movie is called The Requin -- which is a type of tropical shark -- you'd be forgiven for expecting that there ought to be some sharks showing up at least in the first hour. Instead, we have to suffer through a dippy pop song, a mournful music score, a couple grieving and mourning, some montages, and lots of scenes of Kyle being ineffectual and Jaelyn whimpering. The turning point is when they mutually decide that it would be a good idea to signal a passing ship by lighting a fire on their wooden raft. No kidding.
The first shark attack goes quickly when Jaelyn takes out two sharks with a pointy stick. (Again, not kidding.) And then we wait a painfully long time as they drift and sleep and get more and more sunburned and salt-encrusted. The climax is marred by bad, dislocated CG effects and jumpy shark footage. Ultimately, it's not clear which of the cinematic crimes the movie commits is worse: introducing us to characters who are dim and annoying and still expecting us to get on board with their story or using the death of a child as a way to gain sympathy. Either way, The Requin is surely one of the worst shark attack movies ever made, if not the worst. (Yes, that includes Jaws: The Revenge.)
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about The Requin's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it exciting? Shocking? What did the movie show or not show to achieve this effect? Why is that important?
Is the movie scary? Why do people sometimes enjoy watching horror movies and being scared?
Why do you think there are so many movies about shark attacks?
How are the Vietnamese represented in this story? Did you notice any stereotyping?
What does the movie have to say about death, grief, and mourning?
- In theaters: January 28, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: March 29, 2022
- Cast: Alicia Silverstone, James Tupper, Danny Chung
- Director: Le-Van Kiet
- Studios: Lionsgate, Saban Films
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Ocean Creatures
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language and some grisly images
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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