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Coolio fighting sharks in 'Red Water' kicks off new feature, 'Netflix, what?'

We've all had that moment: Scrolling through streaming options on Netflix, you see a movie featuring familiar faces that you've never heard of and can't help but blurt out, "What is that?" (In reality, this may or may not contain profanity.) In "Netflix, what?" we actually watch those movies and let you know if it's worth the time.

Movie: "Red Water"

Year: 2003

Backstory: The basic plot is about sharks that can survive in fresh water terrorizing folks in Louisiana. Apparently this was a TBS movie, but Netflix did not make that clear.

Why it jumped out at me: It's a "Jaws" ripoff co-starring Lou Diamond Phillips ("La Bamba"), Kristy Swanson ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Coolio (I know you don't need me to tell you who Coolio is). Then the credits informed me that Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding on "Saved by the Bell") also appears, and I became giddy.

Highlights: Coolio's first line is "Yo, homie, what's up with the shark?" His dialogue also includes lines like, "Damn! They can see a quarter from the moon, but they can't make a cell phone work in the bayou!" and, "Damn, J; you a cold pimp." One attack in particular makes the shark look like the shark from the "Jaws" ride at Universal Studios, and that's putting it kindly. There's also Haskins as a law enforcement official, saying in his best Cajun accent, "Do me a favor: Don't get eaten by that shark. It'd reflect mightly poorly on me."

Was it worth 90 minutes of my time? No, it was not. Of course, I expected a cheap-looking, derivative story about people fending off sharks and would have been happy if the whole thing was one non-scary attack after another. What I got was a tension-free bore that spends far too much time on characters bickering about drilling oil and retrieving money and all kinds of subjects that don't involve fake sharks eating people.

Quote to use in everyday conversation: "You ain't no shark; I'm the shark. That's why I got the money."

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Friday at 6:55 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

 

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