Why watch Leonardo DiCaprio flailing around on a boat, swanning after Kate Winslet, when you can experience director, writer and actor Shane van Dyke turn himself from nerdy fool into sex God and lustful ship captain in record time? Titanic 2 marks my first experience with any film adaptations of that fateful voyage, and sacrilegious it may be to check out a sequel before the original, I’m afraid to report there was simply no time to wade through the murky, cold waters of the James Cameron first. Time to kill, though, and in due course, I shall set myself down the path of Titanic. Not the path they followed though, obviously not. My sea legs aren’t what they used to be ever since that fateful encounter, where lifeboat met seal, and my inability to swim puts a dampening grey streak across what little hope remains for aquatic ventures.
Aboard the Titanic II we clamber, to tempt fate and, oddly enough, chart the same course as the ill-fated voyage of the first. Never a dull moment to be found in this amalgamation of horrific performances and flaccid direction. Titanic 2 is filled with stock footage, presenting no shame in its constant use of identical and repetitive choreography, hurled up from the deep bowels of Dyke. Far more focused on having babes hanging from his arms in every other scene, Titanic 2 becomes more of a sick fantasy in which Dyke plays a Playboy pirate, careering a ship into an iceberg. A bold move, indeed, but one that seems necessary to the successive, swinging story.
Unfortunately, this supporting cast provides nothing at all. No surprises there, and they don’t quite capture much at all. Not expecting a depth in these characters similar to that of the mighty volume of the ocean, but at least some competency would have been preferred, if not expected. Holding onto this vast hope is a wasted source of frustration, instead, audiences should turn their heads to the Captain Birdseye-like lead, channelling what little energy he has into directing a piece of work so beyond the pale and devoid of any chance of success that is careers off the beaten track wildly. Stunningly furious and unintentionally hilarious dialogue is the saving grace, but no writer could save this concept from its doomed fate.
As flagrant and on the nose it may be, Titanic 2 is a shipwreck of torturously poor content. It has not an ounce of quality to it, and it is not to be approached unless prepared with only the harshest of curated substances known to man. Pizza, and hard liquors are the comforts of choice, plentiful amounts taken in quick succession of one another. The tragedy here is that the cast were not afforded the same coping mechanisms as I was, and my heart pours out to those mighty few, destined to toil away in bit-parts and background scenes after their star shone so brightly on the deck of the Titanic II.