MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 105 minutes
Year of Release: 1999
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Title: Deep Blue Sea
Directed by: Renny Harlin
Starring: Saffron Burrows, Tomas Jane, LL Cool J, Jacqueline McKenzie and Samuel L. Jackson.
Deep Blue Sea – Scientists vs. Super Sharks
In the 1999 movie Deep Blue Sea scientists set up a research lab in the middle of the ocean where they experiment on sharks in the hopes of finding a cure to Alzheimer’s. Guess what happens? Did you guess that terrible things happen involving people getting eaten by sharks? You did? Good for you. Did I mention that the sharks are super sharks with enhanced brains?
The visual effects, while acceptable for their time have become a tad bit dated. But the special effects are not what make this movie cheesy. I think I can sum up what makes this movie cheesy is two words: super sharks. I will probably repeat that this movie is ridiculous and features super sharks many times more in this review because, truth be told, those are the only two things you really need to know about this movie when judging whether or not this is the kind of film for you.
Both sharks and humans get killed in this film in many different and exciting ways over the course of the film. The research facility in the middle of the ocean is a nice set, chocked full of neat places for characters to experience shark-related deaths. I especially enjoyed watching the sharks swim through the flooded hallways.
The characters in this film aren’t particularly original or especially interesting, but that’s not really a problem because most of them exist for the purpose of being eaten by sharks. The actors who play the characters don’t need to show a lot of range other than being scared witless by the evil sharks.
Here’s something that bugged me: The film opens with a handful of horny teenagers partying on a boat in the middle of the ocean. In this early sequence, we are treated to some shots from the shark’s point of view, showing how it sees the boat from below. The shark taps the boat, the boat shakes, a bottle of red wine spills over the side, and then the shark attacks them. What part of this bugged me? The way this sequence is shot makes it look like the shark mistook the wine for blood, which is what enticed it to attack the boat full force. I always thought that sharks could smell blood in the water and could easily differentiate between blood and red wine. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe the screenwriters know more about sharks than I do. Or, maybe this movie is just extremely ridiculous. Yes, that must be the explanation: This movie is absurd.
Another scene that instantly comes to memory is when Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows), the lead female scientist, is cornered by a shark. To deal with her attacker, she finds a nearby electrical cable and prepares to electrocute the shark, but before she strikes, she takes off her wetsuit and stands on it to insulate herself from the electrocution. I’m pretty sure that this scene was designed entirely for the purpose of showing the rather attractive Saffron Burrows in her underwear.
Have I mentioned yet that this movie is mindless entertainment? I have? Maybe I have Alzheimer’s. Hey, speaking of Alzheimer’s, there’s this crazy movie where scientists try to cure the disease by giving sharks really big brains…
If you are a fan of watching super sharks eating people and occasionally enjoy mindless entertainment, then Deep Blue Sea could be the perfect guilty pleasure movie for you. If you have a low tolerance for popcorn flicks with shamelessly absurd premises, then perhaps you might want to skip this piece of cinema.