Have you seen Titanic II?
First of all, let me answer some questions you probably have on your mind.
- Yes, there is a film called Titanic II.
- Yes, it is horrible.
- No, it is not a sequel to 1997’s blockbuster Titanic.
Here is the trailer for the movie:
When searching for a Netflix movie to watch a few months ago, my roommate and I stumbled upon this little gem. It was written and directed by Shane Van Dyke, Dick Van Dyke’s grandson. First I think, “Oh my goodness, what a talented family!” Then I realize that the family talent must have ended with Grandpa in Diagnosis Murder. Besides that, the film was made by the production company Asylum, known for creating many movies for the SyFy channel. You know what I'm talking about.
Shane Van Dyke also stars in the film alongside Brooke Burns (Baywatch) and Bruce Davison (Harry and the Hendersons and General Hospital). When you hear of a SyFy movie having some at least “notable” stars in it, you think, “Well it can’t be THAT bad.” I thought the same thing. I was wrong. Maybe the 1 ½ stars it received on Netflix should have been a red flag.
Titanic II was made in 2010 and is set in the year 2012 on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden and doomed voyage. Hayden Walsh (Van Dyke) and his rich daddy’s company have created the Titanic II, a ship that looks just like her predecessor. But as the characters reiterate a million times throughout the movie, the Titanic II may look the same, but it’s a whole new ship underneath. I would think it would be; technology has advanced a bit since 1912.
Let me just say first off that the graphics in this film are horrible. You can almost always tell there is a green screen where the icy scenery is supposed to be. Not only is the set computer generated, so is the actual ship. I get the feeling the entire film was made in a California studio with green walls, ceilings and floors. The boat, the icebergs, sometimes even the ocean, are artificially made. If that doesn't scream low-budget, I don't know what else does.
Here's a photo of the ship sailing. It is completely computer generated, and yet I feel a bit queasy.
After the movie establishes that icebergs are breaking apart, it changes scenes to sunny New York City, where the ship is loading and about to set sail. The ship will re-trace the route the Titanic took to commemorate the anniversary, except it is leaving from New York, not England. No one mentions why it is leaving from New York. Maybe they are trying to tempt fate a little less by going the opposite way Titanic went 100 years ago?
Many people would find it fascinating and educational to be on the next Titanic. I do not. I think it messes with a tragic event and is a terrible idea.
Side note: At this moment thousands of people are on the Titanic Memorial Cruise in the Atlantic Ocean doing this very thing. They are re-tracing the route and will stop where the original Titanic sank. (Don’t they know how many ghosts are out there?) Oh, and did I mention the ship will serve the same food as the original Titanic and will also play the same music they listened to? Guests are also asked to dress in period clothing from 1912. "Creepy" says it all.
Back to the movie. The Titanic II is ready to set sail. We see a few scenes with the main character Amy (Marie Westbrook), a nurse on the ship, and from what we can gather, she used to date Hayden Walsh and they broke up. It’s a tragic love story, blah, blah, blah. Does every movie about the Titanic have to have one? Gross.
My favorite scene is at the start of the film when everyone is loading onto the ship. Hayden is on the top deck with champagne, toasting to the Titanic II and how great he and his company are. Basically giving himself a huge ego boost. There are thousands of people on the ship, yet only about 50 are sitting in front of him for his speech. Where is everyone else? Did they segregate between the first and third class on this ship as well? At one point you can see a red, white and blue Carnival Cruise sail behind Hayden. At first I thought they filmed the movie on a Carnival Cruise ship. In other photos I've seen, you can clearly see a ship behind the Titanic II. Yet when they set sail out of the port, there are no other ships around.
While the ship sails away, we see passengers having the time of their lives. In actuality, we see the same few extras over and over again in different parts of the ship.
Meanwhile Nurse Amy’s father (Davison) is shown researching the icebergs in the North Atlantic. We learn he is captain of the Coast Guard and see him meet up with scientist Dr. Kim Patterson (Burns) to figure out why the icebergs are cracking at a rapid rate. For the majority of the film, the pair is flying in a helicopter. They make one stop in a snowy location to look at maps. During their stop a male scientist drops canisters while he is standing on a strip of ice. It all cracks beneath him and everyone runs through the computer-generated snow to save themselves.
The scientist who broke the ice falls into a huge crack and the graphics are so bad, you can only laugh at it.
Check the scene out on YouTube here.
The captain and Dr. Patterson learn that the icebergs in the North Atlantic Ocean (where the captain’s nurse daughter is sailing right now! What a coincidence!) have thinned over 60 meters in the last year. As another iceberg cracks, they must send out an ocean-wide tsunami alert. They mention that the tsunami will be moving at 800 miles per hour, which is impossible since the speed of sound is only 768 miles per hour. Tsunamis actually travel about 475 miles per hour. (I learned all of that on the Internet, but I made you think for a second that I was a genius!)
The Coast Guard captain/concerned daddy in a helicopter makes contact with the Titanic II and tells them to avoid icebergs because they will be in the way of the ship’s route. He tells them they need to turn around and go the other way, but crew members mention that the ship is new and cannot handle going full speed yet.
Guests are told not to panic and to put on their life vests. This scene is great. It shows guests on different parts of the ship listening to the captain and staring at the intercom on the ceiling. This scene lasts for a few minutes. No one moves until the captain repeats the message for about the sixth time. That's when everyone starts running and tripping on their own feet. Literally, tripping over themselves.
An iceberg is seen floating toward the ship and slams into the side of it. All hell has already broken loose, yet passengers still aren't wearing their life vests. We soon find out that all of the life boats are wiped out on the side where the iceberg hit, and the other boats are "just for show." If you are trying to recreate the Titanic’s voyage and it has been 100 years, don’t you think you would have thought this over? People will be rooting against you and if you have “show boats,” you are not prepared for when you possibly go down. If you are messing with fate, you better be prepared.
Hayden finds ex-girlfriend-but-there-is-still-something-between-them Nurse Amy and they go to find her co-worker who is injured in the infirmary. With plenty of medical tools and resources around, Nurse Amy tapes a credit card to the girl’s cut throat. I'm sure she could have found gauze or a towel of some sort, but I guess if a credit card is lying around, why not? Maybe this is some kind of deep message telling us that money is something that can easily be thrown away. Or maybe the message is that money can heal bleeding wounds. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.
The trio leaves the infirmary and finds an elevator. After getting trapped inside (since an elevator surprisingly won't work while a ship is sinking), Hayden helps the girls up through the ceiling on a ladder. The next scene we see Hayden pulling himself up through an open elevator door onto another floor. I have no idea how he managed to climb above those girls on the ladder, but he should get some kind of award for that skill.
My favorite scene comes next. We see a man stumbling around the ship on an upper deck. People are falling and sliding and chaos surrounds him. As he runs by a row of windows, you can clearly see the reflection of lights from a city skyline. These passengers are near land, yet they are supposed to be in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with no help in sight.
We continue to follow Hayden and Nurse Amy, who have lost her friend at this point. They avoid a huge explosion, rushing water and electrocution. The obstacles they overcome seem to be way too much work in my opinion. If I were there, I would have already jumped off of the boat and died from hypothermia. They say it’s just like falling asleep. I think that’s much better than having to do any sort of cardio. Ever.
Nurse Amy finally speaks to her father on a cell phone that is somehow working on a sinking ship. He tells her the lifeboats are a death trap because another huge tsunami-like wave is about to hit them. He tells them to get to the diving lockers on the ship. As the pair arrives at the lockers, the ship capsizes and they become trapped - again. Then they realize that there is only one wet suit and oxygen tank, even though it's a "diving locker." Where is all of the other equipment?
Hayden gives the suit and tank to to Nurse Amy after a long and boring scene of back and forth “No, you take it” dialogue. Nurse Amy tries to get Hayden to agree to share the oxygen tank, but he refuses. As the water rises and he slowly freezes from hypothermia (sound familiar?), she kisses him goodbye and they both go under.
Her dad has already jumped out of his helicopter by this point and uses his own scuba diving gear to maneuver his way to his daughter. They take Hayden’s body with them as they manage to find their way out of the wreckage.
The two find an inflatable boat with Dr. Patterson on board. Amy tries to save Hayden with CPR. (It took you about 25 minutes to get out of that ship, why on Earth would you think he is alive or that you could save him? You're a nurse, but I just saw you tape a credit card to your friend's throat.)
The camera pans out with the sky full of incoming helicopters, a little too late to save anyone. The sun is rising. The credits roll.
I admit that Titanic II is pretty terrible, but if you like to make fun of low-budget films (as some of us do) or are just in the mood to watch something about the Titanic without paying $10 to see the James Cameron film in 3D, it’s right there on Netflix. Add it to your instant queue and get ready to laugh.
I’ll end this entry with this. In the words of an 11-year-old who I recently watched the film with: “This is for real stupid.”
Jordan Armstrong is a web content producer at KVUE. She holds a degree in Radio, Television and Film from the University of North Texas. Her addiction to television started when she was five years old and wouldn’t stop watching Fraggle Rock. Jordan’s opinions are not a reflection of the views of KVUE.com, KVUE TV, or its parent company Belo Corp. We actually don’t know why we’re letting her have a column.