Hollywood has quite the history of movies that have thrown their money away in an attempt to give us an entertaining night out at the cinema. Films like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Waterworld (for whatever reason) all went over budget and crashed and burned when it came to release day. Now it looks like we have yet another massive waste of money with Empires of the Deep, a Chinese-American co-production starring ex Bond girl Olga Kurylenko. Don’t worry if you have never heard of this film, no one has which is frightening for a film that has had a hundred and thirty million dollars pumped into it over the course of 3 years.
Twitch Film has been kind enough to put together a brief rundown of what this film actually entails. It is the brain child of Chinese real estate tycoon Jon Jiang who wrote the script himself and helped finance it. Already a sense of foreboding is setting in for most of us reading this, but still the project kept circulating with director Pitof involved and Irvin Kershner (Empire Strikes Back) as a producer but both of them dropped out of the project. Pitof’s only claim to fame is the overwhelming turd that was Catwoman. Now if the man who directed Catwoman declined this movie it does not bode well. It changed hands numerous times until settling with director Michael French (who is mostly famous for TV projects like Taming the Dragon) finishing the film up with the already mentioned Olga starring. The problem (among many this production has had) seems to be they had no real producer presence on this movie what so ever. Harrison Liang and Kevin Jiang are the two people credited, but they are CGI guys on the movie. No producers on board means no budget control which leads you to over spending.
After all this it has still managed to rear its ugly head and now has an internet presence with this trailer, which we can now share with you, but be warned it’s not the aquatic setting that is making this seem a bit fishy, it is just because it is rubbish.
Plenty of comparison can be made here. It looks to me like a mix of Avatar and Dune set underwater which is not inherently a bad thing if the cinematography did not look so bad. It looks like a bad TV movie, poorly shot and acted. The cast with fish fins on top of their heads look as if they auditioned for the Adam West Batman as the villain of the week. This makeup does not look organic and oozes cheesy. Now I am afraid we have to look at the special effects which all look on the level of classic such as Giant Piranha or Shark Night. Dire. This would not be such a bad thing in itself as these films are a good laugh, but you expect that as they were made for peanuts. These level of effects are not what I expect to see from a film with this much money spent on it.
All that said, I will still be buying it when it comes out on DVD, as I am guessing I will not have to wait long before it ends up in the bargain basement sale section. But there is no way I am seeing this movie in the cinema. If the next trailer isn’t considerably better, the film is going to be in for a very rough time when it finally arrives on the big screen sometime later this year.