Thank goodness we found Nemo last year.

In response to Finding Nemo's overwhelming popularity, including a worldwide box office gross of over $850 million and an Academy Award for Animated Feature Film, it appears that DreamWorks wants a piece of the underwater action. The company has weighed in with Shark Tale, a 90-minute torture session featuring over a dozen celebrity voices meant to cover up a weak story and lame character development. DreamWorks should really stick to Shrek sequels, and leave the ocean to Pixar.

Shark Tale, directed and written by Rob Letterman et al, seems promising … for about ten minutes. At the beginning, a couple of sharks, Lenny (voiced by Jack Black) and Frankie (The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli), swim around while Frankie hums the infamous Jaws music. Lenny asks Frankie to stop, to which Frankie replies, "What do you mean? It's our theme song." OK, chalk one up for DreamWorks. And, give the company props for creating Katie Current (voiced by the Katie Couric), about whom a Shark Tale character says, "She seems so nice on TV," when she screams "Move it!" to get to a news scoop.

But, that's it. The rest of the film, about a get-rich-quick schemer fish named Oscar (Will Smith), has zero depth and isn't really all that funny or charming. It's actually quite depressing to see the filmmakers try so hard to be the next Nemo, resulting in an emptiness that pervades the film and a severe lack of connection among the characters—and between the characters and the viewer.

Oscar's from the bottom of the reef, but he's got plans to live at the top of the reef one day. Even as he daydreams about greater things and bountiful wealth, the younger fish on the reef tease him, "You're so broke, your bologna ...

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Shark Tale
Our Rating
1 Star - Weak
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for some mild language and crude humor)
Directed By
Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Run Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Cast
Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger
Theatre Release
October 01, 2004 by DreamWorks SKG
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