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Shark Tale

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Shark Tale

Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro
Director: Bibo Bergeron
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: October 2004
Genres: Animation, Family

*Also starring: Martin Scorsese, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Ziggy Marley, Peter Falk, Michael Imperioli, Doug E. Doug, James Madio, Vincent Pastore

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Dreamworks' SHARK TALE is a disappointing series of sight gags lost at sea in search of a story. Although it has its moments, it isn't a movie that holds your attention. You're more likely to be surprised to find yourself laughing than waiting in anticipation for its next joke. (It's not a good sign when two of the film's four screenwriters' only other credit is FREDDY VS. JASON.)

The basic setup for the story is that a wisecracking braggart named Oscar (voiced by Will Smith) is a little fish who falsely claims to be a shark slayer. Oscar's jive-talking schtick might work for a wisecracking sidekick but quickly grows tiresome for a leading character. Oscar's manager, Sykes, is voiced nicely by Martin Scorsese, who makes the most of his signature, unusual voice. The story's other central character is that of Lenny (voiced by Jack Black), who is a vegetarian shark who doesn't want to eat anyone.

When story starts, Oscar is a tongue scrubber at the Whale Wash. Sykes explains to Oscar that he is so low on the food chain that he is below rocks and even "whale poo." Every once in a while the movie tries on some clunky, serious line, which falls like an anchor to the ocean floor -- "Nobody loves a nobody. I want to be a somebody," Oscar tells his girl. From Krispy Kreme to Coca Cola, the movie is awash in product placements, albeit with the names changed slightly for comedic effect.

If you feel like you've seen this movie before, you have. It was called FINDING NEMO, and it was a whole lot better. Pixar's FINDING NEMO gets better with every viewing, but SHARK TALE is a movie which is so long in the tooth that even one viewing already feels like a half a viewing too many.

SHARK TALE runs a long 1:31. It is rated PG for "some mild language and crude humor" and would be acceptable for kids of all ages.

Copyright 2004 Steve Rhodes

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