Jesus H. Christ. My God. Holy shit. Such thoughts ran through my head at the end of this nuclear bomb of a sequel, an end which comes an hour and ten minutes into the agonizing experience. The subsequent end credits last, yes, thirteen minutes, engorged by a dreadful parade of deleted scenes and on-set video diaries. It is a cruel death march to feature length, yet also the best part of the film because it at least signifies the end is near.
There is not a minute of this film where the viewer does not understand why genre imprint Dimension Films buried it in just a few out-of-sight-out-of-mind theatres, emphasizing instead the fact it would be available on demand day-and-date. They, prudent and wise, avoided the shame of giving this toxic waste a nationwide theatrical release, yet ensured the first film's modest, but strong cult audience would have access to it for a fee.
And the first film deserves its cult audience. High art? No, but a playful and well-constructed celebration of the spirit of B creature features, one which blended its colorful sense of humor with moments of honest suspense and found a fine cast, well aware of the picture's charms and limitations, having a grand old time in the water.
None of those charms can be found here. The bright, plastic, cut-rate photography recall television soft porn. Earnest humor is replaced by a vicious mean spirit. Remember the scene in the first film which had men in the audience laughing and groaning in equal measure? This sequel tries to top it with a scene as sexist as it is disgusting as it forced.
The ever-present and, of course, big-breasted women are filmed in a way far too leering to ever register as sexy, one instead feeling caught in the mind of a dirty old man in his, shall we say, special raincoat. A sense of structure or forward movement is nonexistent. The film plays as a series of loose set pieces woven together by repetitious underwater interludes in which nature-documentary B-roll is invaded by poorly rendered, indistinct forms which now and then almost resemble carnivorous freshwater fishes.
The acting from the youthful members of the cast, even the beautiful and promising Danielle Panabaker, is dreadful, but they can almost be forgiven: they're aspiring stars, and this sour excursion no doubt paid a few months' worth of rent. More troubling are the cameos, including a brief visit by Gary Busey, who seems almost incapable of delivering his lines, and, worse, an extended role for former Baywatch icon and singer David Hasselhoff. Out of shape and uncomfortable in front of the camera, there is a major disconnect at play in his scenes: the film believes it has found a comic goldmine (he played a lifeguard in a hit series once upon a time, and now he's playing himself playing a lifeguard!), but the audience just sees a faded, substance-abusing television star sacrificing even more dignity (he is now well into negative numbers).
There is not a single redeeming quality to be found here. None of the humor is humorous. The all-too-short climactic action sequence is unconvincing and unexciting, and way too low-key for a film people are first and foremost paying to see for the visceral action. The promise of a sequel seems more a dangerous threat. If this year produces a worse film between now and early December, call your loved ones and find God because the Mayans are right.