Big Shark Review: Tommy Wiseau’s Biggest Disaster

What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen? I want you to think about this question. Really think about it. It’s a common hyperbole thrown around right after you exit the theater of a movie you didn’t like: “Oh, that’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.” But Tommy Wiseau is here to put all the worst movies of all time to shame…again. He cheep-cheep-cheeped his way to fame in 2003 with his cult classic, The Room. Twenty years later, he is making his triumphant return to the big screen with Big Shark.

I’m honestly dumbfounded. I’ve been a film critic for a few years now. I’ve seen a lot of great movies and a lot of bad ones. But as I scroll through the 18 pages of notes I took while watching this (literal) disaster movie, I struggle to decide where to begin. This is, far and away, the worst movie I have seen in my entire life. I have spent all my waking moments wondering if I could ever watch a movie that’s so bad it actually floored me. Nothing could have prepared me for this. The darkest forces of hell are no match for the horrific excuse of a movie that Wiseau has created. Big Shark is an unintelligible atrocity that will make you wish the video camera had never been invented.

One expects more from world-renowned production company Wiseau-Films. From the opening scene of this movie, you are in for a treat. The film follows three firefighters, Patrick (Wiseau), Tim (Isaiah LaBorde), and Georgie (Mark Valeriano). Early in the film, they are on stage receiving awards for their bravery. Not only does this scene last way longer than it needs to, but the sound mixing is atrocious. Good sound mixing is something that’s often taken for granted in movies. But in Big Shark, everyone is either so loud that their audio levels are peaking or so quiet that you have to strain to hear what they’re saying. It alternates back and forth between these extremes. Furthermore, the sound of the applause during this particular scene changes volume drastically between shots and sometimes in the middle of shots.

That’s the thing with this movie. If The Room was Tommy Wiseau trying to make an Oscar-worthy drama about love, betrayal, and the futility of friendship, Big Shark is Tommy Wiseau trying to make a bad B-movie. That is precisely as horrifying as it sounds. The world was not ready for this movie, and it has to be seen to be believed. The editing errors are too egregious to be accidental. There are shots that start mid-sentence without us ever hearing how the sentence started. There are shots that end with characters in the middle of a word in a sentence that we never hear the end of. At least the editing in The Room was half-competent. No self-respecting editor would allow this movie to exist.

Let’s talk about acting. 2023 has given us some phenomenal performances, such as Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer and Greta Lee in Past Lives. I feel like calling the performances in this movie “acting” would make Stanislavski roll in his grave. Big Shark manages to make the acting in pornography seem Oscar-worthy in comparison. Wiseau’s lead performance is completely off-kilter as he mumbles through the entire movie. However, we were all expecting him to underdeliver in the acting department. In The Room, he stuck out as the worst actor in a movie where everyone else is giving half-decent performances. In Big Shark, it seems as if every actor is in a competition where they’re trying to act worse than the other actors in the scene. It can be hard to tell if these actors are trying to act badly on purpose or if Wiseau held a casting call and cast the worst options.

Now, for the writing. I want to take the screenplay for this movie and frame it. It belongs in a museum. We live in a time where writers are worried about A.I. taking over their jobs. This movie feels like it was written by A.I……from 1999. The dialogue is so hilariously horrendous that there is no excuse. It feels like a teenager watched Sharknado and decided to make his own movie with his friends, despite not having seen any other movie in his life. Many scenes retread information that was already given to us a few scenes ago. Much like The Room, there are many scenes here that add nothing to the story. There will be a scene where characters are running from a shark, and then we immediately cut to a scene right after where they’re hanging out and having drinks, followed by a scene of them playing beer pong. The tonal shifts are unbelievably drastic.

I didn’t think I would ever say this, but Big Shark makes The Room look like The Godfather. While The Room has many scenes that don’t add anything to the plot, you can at least say there’s a cohesive narrative with consistent character motivations. Nothing in Big Shark makes any sense. The lead character, Sophia, has wildly shifting motivations. Sometimes, she’s in love with Patrick and begs for him to come back to her. Other times, she is mildly regretful of her relationship with Patrick. Other times, she is throwing furniture off the roof. She’s like James McAvoy in Split, but it’s not a mental disorder; it’s just disorder.

This movie has the most illogical plotting I have ever seen in a movie. Wiseau has no idea how to craft an action set piece. There will be scenes where the characters are chased by a giant 35-foot shark and a moment later, the shark vanishes and the characters don’t seem perturbed by any of it. They just move on with their lives. Big Shark has no sense of narrative structure. It genuinely feels as if the script fell on the floor, the pages got everywhere, and the movie was filmed in the random order the pages were picked up in. This is evident when we have two separate scenes of characters diving into the sea to find the shark, and both scenes recycle the same shots.

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Speaking of which, why are three firefighters the ones who need to save New Orleans? The movie never gives a logical explanation for why the military or the police, or anyone else never shows up while a giant shark ravages New Orleans. Somehow, it’s the job of three firefighters, whose job literally surrounds fire, to go completely out of their element and dive underwater to save the city from the shark. I’m convinced that Tommy Wiseau is an alien poorly disguised as a human because who can possibly come up with something this horrible? You have to wait a bit for the shark to show up, but the way the shark first gets introduced is so jaw-dropping and hilarious that you might actually scream out loud.

You’ll break out into applause whenever the heroes vow to save New Orleans. You’ll break out into song every time they sing their dumb national anthem. You’ll laugh harmoniously with your fellow audience members in a movie that is just as funny as The Room, if not more so. Big Shark is an atrocity. The lighting changes drastically between each shot. The best thing I can say about this movie is that parts of it are in focus. There’s also one scene involving pigs that would definitely exist in a dark comedy movie because it feels like the most intentionally funny scene in the movie. Mise én scene does not exist in this film.

It is easy to worry that Wiseau won’t be able to replicate what he did with The Room. Part of the reason why The Room is so charming is that it’s trying so hard to be a good movie and taking itself so seriously, but it’s hilariously bad. Big Shark seems to know it’s a bad movie — the CGI made by a D-average middle schooler is a giveaway. But even though this is obviously a horrible film, you’ll find yourself wondering how much of this is intentional. The charm is still there because you’re going to laugh your ass off. You need to watch this movie with as many friends as possible. As the characters say repeatedly in this movie, it will “occupy your brain” forever. Ha ha ha, what a story, Shark.

SCORE: 1/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 1 equates to “Awful.”

ComingSoon doesn’t enjoy giving out an awful rating, and it’s generally reserved for video games that are broken or entertainment that is devoid of any redeeming qualities.