Titanic II (2011)

Some idiot decided to name his ship Titanic II. In an obscene and doom-laden tribute to the 1912 tragedy, rich berk Hayden Walsh (Shane Van Dyke) has created a new luxury ship made to look like the original Titanic. With better engines, life-boats hidden below decks and all the modern technology you could want, it’s a lookalike that boasts itself to be brilliant (and undoubtedly unsinkable).

Fate / Mother Nature / Shane Van Dyke however, have other plans. Somewhere in Greenland a humungous sheet of ice slices away from an icecap, creating a huge Tsunami. This tsunami should cause no problems to a ship in the middle of the ocean, but this particular tsunami has an iceberg riding on it….

The iceberg slams into the Titanic II and sets off a chain of cataclysmic events that echo the horrors of the past. Sinking fast and with a second MEGA-TSUNAMI heading their way, the remaining passengers and crew must find a way to survive drowning, freezing and laughing to death at the terrible CGI.

Oh, and Bruce Davison is it in; he mostly sits in a helicopter.

This film is epically flawed on such a number of levels it’s difficult to describe without swearing. Factually it’s hilariously inept; apparently the Titanic II is taking the same route as the original Titanic, and then proceeds to set off from New York (instead of Southampton!). The ship is also referred to as the U.S.S. Titanic II even though the prefix U.S.S. is specifically used by military war ships.

There are also hundreds of continuity errors – night changes to day instantly, the same extras repeat their panicked running scenes over and over again, the windows reflect shorelines and buildings in the middle of the ocean and at one point Shane Van Dyke clambers up a lift shaft behind two women only to reach the top first! Did he climb OVER them!? It is so filled with errors that it displays the absolute lack of attention-to-detail in a film clearly rushed and slammed together with little care.

Titanic II should have been incredibly self-knowing too, but it fails to fully acknowledge the original 1912 incident (and the irony of history repeating itself) or the multi-million dollar film by James Cameron. Only the DVD blurb cheekily pokes at the 1997 Oscar-winner by stating “TITANIC 2 will leave you gasping for air and wondering if your heart really can go on…” This film needed more tongue-in-cheek winking references but completely ignored it in favour of doing something more… serious?

One major question that constantly battered around my mind throughout Titanic II was about the two massive Tsunamis that devastate the ship. Where were they heading? Because if it wipes out half the world then why in the living hell should I care about some rich gimp and his flapping ex-girlfriend being stuck in a cupboard? It was very very hard to empathize with.

The Asylum film company uses many of the same cast and crew from their previous shameless rip-offs to bolster Titanic II’s ranks, plucking actors, stuntmen and even “background persons” from their canon of crap-tacular work. Titanic II is created by a man fully accustomed to nepotism, however, in the form of sweeping blonde Shane Van Dyke. He writes, he directs and he even stars in Titanic II.

Having already brought us the simply abysmal Paranormal Entity, Transmorphers: Fall of Man and The Day The Earth Stopped, Shane Van Dyke has created another Asylum classic, but with a twist. It’s not quite as woefully terrible as his previous films.

Okay, enough beating the dumb child – Titanic II isn’t the worst film ever. If you ignore that fact it’s hideously made, the acting is sub-standard, the plot is thinner than an anorexic wafer and it’s incredibly stupid, Titanic II is actually watchable trash. The Asylum has developed worrying fast since it began lobbing out “mockbusters” back in 2005 (with C. Thomas Howell starrer War of the Worlds) but they’ve also got better. Not much, but certainly better. Titanic II is almost a reasonably good film… but not quite.

Some films are not made for cinema. Some films are not made to be watched in a dark room and concentrated on. Titanic II is watch-while-you-iron toss that is about as challenging as a uni-coloured Rubix Cube and singularly as entertaining. Occasionally there are moments of genuine tension, but mostly it’s a thrill ride that is less “rollercoaster” and much more “hold your hands up on the spinning teacups”. Possibly hilarious if you’re drunk and with friends, but otherwise it’s background entertainment that is occasionally distracting.

Rating: ★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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