Want to know how to blow $130 million? Watch this trailer for EMPIRES OF THE DEEP to find out

2 min read
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When you have lots of money, you do stupid things. Scores of ridiculously named children in Hollywood are testament to this. But wheareas those will only cost you the price of a lifetime’s worth of therapy, Chinese real estate tycoon Jon Jiang probably won’t be so lucky.

A passion project of his that he produced and wrote the initial draft of, the Olga Kurylenko starring undersea epic Empires of the Deep took three years and $130 million to make. Unfortunately, judging from this first trailer, the only thing about it that’s epic is the fail.

The fantasy adventure, set in ancient Greece, tells about a young man’s adventure in the undersea mermaid kingdom in order to save his father, while encountering ferocious sea monsters and gets involved in large-scale battles in the seabed between mermaids, monsters and demons. Kurylenko plays the Queen of the Mermaid Empire and stars opposite lead actor Steve Polites and Chinese actress Yanfei Shi.

I’ve always wondered what I would do were I to become filthy rich one day. Maybe buy my own amusement park and hire people to stand in long queues to the rides just so that I can walk past them to the front of those queues in smug satisfaction. But make a movie? I don’t think that’s ever shown up on my fantasy wishlist, probably because I know there are people better at it than I am.

Well, at least that would be general idea, because looking at that trailer, it looks like Jiang somehow managed to find people that actually are worse than he is at filmmaking. Before current director Michael French ended with the job, a load of other directors all came on board and then bailed on the project, starting with Catwoman director Pitof. Now when a guy, whose level of douchiness has reached single-named status and who produced one of the most maligned films of the last few decades, passes on your project then warning bells should be ringing.

And if you ignore those warnings, you end up with something as terrible looking as that trailer. Like, SyFy original movie terrible. Foregoing the fact that that trailer tells you absolutely nothing about the story or characters (which should be a hint for the final product), let me just ask the question that’s probably on your lips: How can a movie that cost $130 million still look like the cutscene of a Playstation 2 videogame? Surely, Olga Kurylenko’s paycheck and silly headgear didn’t cost that much?

I predict that we may just be about to see one of the biggest crash and burns of recent cinematic history.

Last Updated: October 24, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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