Shark Tale (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring (the voices of): Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renee Zellweger, Jack Black

Directors: Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, Rob Letterman

With an all-star cast headed by Will Smith who voices Oscar, a small-fry fish at the bottom of the food chain, SHARK TALE follows the fortunes of this tenacious yet somewhat misguided fish with big, entrepreneurial ideas on his journey from working at the ‘whale wash’ in the yucky mouth cleaning zone to megastar status.

Robert De Niro effortlessly plays the mafia Godfather role as a great white shark Don Lino at the top of the food chain who’s surviving son Lenny (Jack Black) is a great disappointment and not man enough to follow in his father’s footsteps and take over the business. Lenny is a vegetarian and doesn’t like hurting fellow sea creatures so he escapes to Oscar’s part of the reef and by chance teams up with Oscar as his reputation as a shark killer, wrongly claimed when an anchor killed Lenny’s brother, gathers pace and propels him into the limelight.

Add to this Oscar’s complicated love life in the shape of the sweet natured Angie (Renee Zellweger), a beautiful angelfish, who has always secretly loved Oscar and Lola (Angelina Jolie), a sultry lion fish / dragonfish seductress who Oscar finds himself heavily distracted by and who’s after him for his money.

The film is set to a vibrant soundtrack, which includes a brilliant ‘Car Wash’ remix by Christina Aquilera featuring Missy Elliott and is matched by a snappy, upbeat and comical screenplay. This underground kingdom is peppered with ‘almost’ mirror images of the world above, so there’s a ‘whale wash’, a ‘Gup’ clothes store chain etc. and it’s this attention to detail that gives the movie that extra edge.

SHARK TALE is a thoroughly entertaining movie with dialogue skilfully delivered by a talented cast and is a visual feast to watch.

5 out of 6 stars