That’s all the setup given by the Roger Corman production, and really all a Syfy-weaned audience asks of it. Before we proceed, allow me to explain the complex concept: Dinoshark is half-dinosaur, half-shark. Please re-read that as many as needed for your mind to grasp.
The glorious, sun-soaked Puerto Vallarta is the site of many of a dinoshark sighting — and nearly as many human meals. This threatens to spoil the resort’s upcoming, all-girl water polo match. For we, the viewers, it damn well better!
Leading the charge against Dinoshark is hunky, blue-collar bad-ass Trace McGraw (Eric Balfour, TV’s “Haven”), he of the sunglasses, deep tan and wardrobe of wife-beaters. Joining him is the requisite hot female scientist, Carole Brubaker, played by the Croatian-born Iva Hasperger, who I’m dubbing the Fabiana Udenio of the ’10s, which I mean as a total compliment.
The knowingly cheesy “Dinoshark” plays just like its knowingly cheesy “Sharktopus” predecessor, as if the script were written with a “Mad Libs”-esque template, where each entry under “impossible mutant aquatic creature” that previously read “Sharktopus” now reads “Dinoshark.”
Even Corman returns in front of the camera, but not in a silent cameo. He gets a bona fide supporting role, and he’s good, quite convincing as a man who kindly asks a mariachi band to please keep the volume down.
Some wonderfully goofy dialogue includes such smile-provoking gems as “Sharks don’t have horns! And Alaska? That’s a long way!,” “That’s not a dolphin. That’s a shark. Now row!” and the Schwarzenegger-ready “Welcome to the endangered species list, you bastard.” In keeping with every sea-terror flick since 1975, the music score pays tribute to — er, rips off — “Jaws.”
Director Kevin O’Neill also helmed Corman’s ahead-of-its-time “Dinocroc” in 2004, so he obviously has the skills for successfully bringing nonexistent prehistoric monsters to corners-cutting CGI life on the screen. My entranced 6-year-old wouldn’t agree, but I can’t say “Dinoshark” delivered quite as much big, dumb fun as “Sharktopus”; however, “Sharktopus” lacks this film’s climactic “leap from a moving Jet Ski and hurl a grenade into the monster’s mouth” showdown. We’ve screencapped it for you, but the real deal is something to see. —Rod Lott