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Whale Wars: Viking Shores (2012)
A manipulated turd is still a turd...
I will try to be as unbiased as possible, but let me say this right away: I am a faroese man studying media-science in Denmark. I have participated in several whale-hunts, and I don't hold Sea Shepherd in high regard. So naturally my expectations were not high, when S.S. announced that they were launching operation 'Ferocious Isles' which is the basis of Viking Shore. But even IF i had all these reservations to begin with, I'm still shocked by how much the series bored me after only watching three episodes. Even if you agree with Paul Watson and and his crew, it's still pretty hard to be entertained by this snooze fest.
Nothing happens... And when I mean nothing, I mean absolutely nothing. The series tries to build up moments that are non-existent, and it is quite clear from the start, that S.S. isn't interested in winning the hearts & minds of the faroese population. Instead they desperately try to instigate confrontations that will lead to dramatic footage for the camera. And when their efforts aren't successful, they still proclaim victory over their 'mission against the barbarians'.
How bad can it be? Here are three examples from episode three 'Into the fire':
1) The first ten minutes (roughly 25% of the episode) are used on preparations for stopping a whale-slaughter that turns out to be non-existent. The anonymous tip was a hoax, but the show has no qualms about using the prank call as a major event in the series.
2) During Ólavsøka (the national holiday), when the capital is filled with people on the streets, S.S. tries to start a confrontation by staging by happening at the harbor. Desperately trying to get a violent confrontation with the natives. But after a few minor quarrels with some bystanders and drunks, they are politely told to move to a different location by the police... And they treat this as a victory...
3) And to top it all... They decide to dock their ship in Tórshavn for the night of Ólavsøka. Even though it's established, that the harbor is filled with drunken teenagers that don't like Sea Shepherd. If they wanted a quiet night with rest and sleep, why did they dock there? It's clearly established, that there were many other quiet places during this time. So why go where there is a big possibility of a violent confrontation? Spoiler: There are some drunken teenager at the harbor, but no one from the S.S. crew is harmed.
This all leads to boring television. It's as simple as that. S.S. didn't get very much dramatic footage and what they get is thinly scraped over five long episodes. Clearly this is not worth anybody's time. Even if you are interested in the misadventures of Paul Watson & co.
Is this danish cinema dead?
When you walk in to see this film, you don't go to see great art. You go to get scared shitless. You go to frightened and thrilled. I went to see this movie for that reason. Mission... not... accomplished... The film starts OK. The cinematography is interesting and the slowly unfolding plot seems to be heading somewhere. But it's not! After a couple of minutes you start wondering: Is that all there is to it? Has horror really been reduced of a couple of clichés and unintelligent plots? The story doesn't hold. The "monster" isn't scary. The characters are paper thin. So thin, that you suddenly start to laugh of how stupid and unoriginal these characters are: There's the shy girl who has a hard time integrating into the campus community. There's the evil girl who's just like every female villain in teenage flicks. There's the sexy snob and the good looking oddball with a golden heart. This film is basically a Mean Girls version of The Ring. But the worst part of the film is the monster. Do you remember that spoof on Samara in Scary Movie 3. The monster in Kollegiet is just like that. And the feeble attempts to give her some back story doesn't work. You end up feeling sorry for the people behind this plain horrible horror film, which basically is a mockery to the slasher genre.
Verdict: A very bad attempt to make a danish mainstream version of The Ring. Can only be recommended to teenagers who like unintelligent films.