The great William Atherton, the reigning sleazeball of ’80s movies from Ghostbusters to Die Hard, plays a greedy developer breaking ground on a premiere beach club and spa near the New Jersey boardwalk. The underwater drilling — illegal, of course — unleashes a school of CGI albino sharks, just in time for the big Fourth of July weekend!
And who should rise to the challenge to save the day but the Guidos and Guidettes of Jersey Shore? Or at least barbed spoofs of MTV’s too-tanned, greasy, loud, abs-obsessed party Neanderthal reality stars, from The Complication (Jeremy Luc) to Nooki (Melissa Molinaro). To fight the sharks, they use — what else? — fireworks.
This is a movie that knows exactly what it is: a good time. While many of the Syfy creature features proudly parade their pervading B-ness, Jersey Shore Shark Attack is the only one I know of that delivers genuine, intentional laughs. That includes sight gags (a beer hat with muscle milk), dialogue (“Don’t lie to me,” Nooki confronts The Complication over suspected cheating, “I can smell the Aqua-Net and garlic!”) and an extended joke involving former ‘N Sync member Joey Fatone, who appears as himself.
Not appearing as themselves? Every Italian character actor who had nothing better to do when they received the phone call: Jack Scalia, Paul Sorvino and, from The Sopranos, Tony “Paulie Walnuts” Sirico.
Don’t get me wrong: The movie’s still dumb; you just might enjoy it way more than anticipated. —Rod Lott