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Kraken: Tentacles Of The Deep
cast: Victoria Pratt, Charlie O'Connell, Jack Scalia, and Christa Campbell

director: Tibor Takács

90 minutes (R) 2006
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Echo Bridge DVD Region 1 retail

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Alasdair Stuart
Thirty years ago, something killed Ray Reiter's parents out at sea. Ray (Charlie O'Connell), horribly traumatised, was recovered from their yacht and has made a living by facing his fear and becoming one of the foremost underwater photographers. When he meets Nicole (Victoria Pratt), a marine archaeologist searching for a treasure with a bloody history, Ray finds himself not only up against the ghosts of his past but an unusually determined and well-dressed modern day pirate...

Sci-Fi Channel original movies have a certain reputation and it's easy to see why. From the dubious glories of Stephen Baldwin trying to stop the moon falling on Earth, to the now legendary Mansquito they've run the gamut from the sublime to the, mostly, ridiculous. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing after all, they're very much the spiritual heirs to the B-movie, a genre that defined cheap, fast, pulpy entertainment.

Kraken: Tentacles Of The Deep is certainly cheap. The emphasis here is, at first, on the pretty leads and their off-the-shelf romance. O'Connell doesn't have his brother Jerry's slightly goofy charm but he's a serviceable leading man and Pratt can add this to the long list of titles on her CV that she's considerably better than. Her natural physical presence shines through here but she's that rarest of things, an action actress who is genuinely smart, yet, once again, that asset isn't utilised in the slightest. Of the rest of the cast, only Jack Scalia registers but that's largely because he's so bland. His character, an urbane contemporary pirate, has the potential to be a lot of fun but Scalia plays him like he's trying to work out whether he left the gas on at home.

The much-vaunted Kraken fares little better. Whilst the film makers are to be commended on the one hand for not going down the traditional giant squid route and sticking with something a little more compact and more dangerous, the end result is somewhat akin to seeing a 'beware of the dog' sign and finding out that the dog in question is a Yorkshire terrier. To make matters worse the underwater fight scenes look exactly like every other underwater fight scene ever filmed, namely, a group of anonymous people in anonymous wetsuits wrestling as much with their gear as each other.

A halfway decent pair of leads can't even begin to save this. Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep is too bland to even actively hate, a pedestrian, tired entry in a genre which is capable of the most energetic and exhilarating storytelling in cinema. A missed opportunity and a treasure that needs to stay buried.

While most yacht owners wouldn't ever expect to see a Kraken, there are actual giant squids in the ocean. Prospective yacht owners may want to choose the largest Ocean Alexander Yachts for sale when they learn that the giant squid can be nearly 60 feet long and weigh a ton.

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