You certainly don't sit down with something called Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep expecting William Shakespeare (or even Roger Corman) -- but I'd be willing to bet you're expecting more than this. Looking for all the world like a Lifetime Channel movie (with a few gory bits thrown in for good measure), Kraken is far and away one of the silliest monster movies I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot.
Previously known as Deadly Water (I bet the new name was tacked on after a "Kraken" showed up in Pirates of the Caribbean 2), this amazingly goofball movie opens with a husband and wife being plucked off their yacht by something that looks like a large and vaguely squidlike blur. The only survivor left behind is a little boy who grows up to become ... Ray. (As played by Jerry O'Connell sibling / lookalike Charlie O'Connell, Ray is about as heroic as your local Jiffy Lube attendant, but just look at what being an actor's brother can accomplish! The starring role in Kraken in the Deep!) On the other hand, Kraken also offers Jack Scalia at his most unquestionably evil, hateful and obnoxious. The guy's just begging to become a Kraken snack.
Ray joins a squad of perpetually bikini-clad lady scientists. The gals are after a priceless treasure; Ray is after that giant squid-blur what ate his parents all those years ago! Toss in a wise-ass sidekick and a nefarious adversary or two (and don't forget the Kraken!) and you're looking at a cable flick that'll get as many eyeball-rolls as it does flicks of the remote (to see if anything better is actually on).
The ungainly, cheap-looking, and frankly boring flick goes precisely where you know it will, and it embarks on that journey with all the excitement of a trip to the laundromat. Director Tibor Takacs (yes, the guy who directed The Gate, Mansquito, and Earthquake: Nature Unleashed) exhibits all the visual flair of a magic marker. His cast is a vacant group of photogenic automatons, his screenplay is a clumsy mish-mash of cliche, stereotype and stupidity ... and the special effects. I mean, wow. I've seen more realistic marine life on The Snorks. And when your slipshod movie can't even deliver on its one legitimate commodity (like, the monster attacks!) and instead has you chuckling at the onscreen ineptitude, well, that's a special sort of rotten.
In honor of this hilariously unwatchable movie, I'd like to coin a new adjective, one that will be doled out sparingly and only in the most extreme circumstances. For example, when I get to see Uwe Boll's next movie, I'm prepared to call it "krakenbad." (But I bet it'll have better FX than this one!)
Audio/Video: Non-anamorphic widescreen, and not all that thrilling to look at. Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround is your aural option, plus there's also a DTS track, which really makes me chuckle some more.
Extras: Just a 20-minute blather-fest called Secrets of the Deep, which offers very little in the "secrets" department, but all but overflows with effusive praise and mega-love for and from all the talking-head interview subjects.
I've got a real soft spot for moronic movies about massive monsters, but even I have my limits. Call it Deadly Water, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, or Mega-Calamari on Human Safari. It won't matter. This one's a turkey fit only for the stunningly bored and the astonishingly stoned.