Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all animals stuck in research labs to be tested on could fight back? Well that’s exactly what happens in Renny Harlin‘s Deep Blue Sea when a group of scientists in an underwater facility test on sharks to try and find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Dr Susan McCallister (Saffron Burrows) has been playing around with the brains of living sharks to try and find something to cure debilitating mental disease Alzheimer’s, in doing so she ends up making the brains of three of the sharks bigger, and thus making them more intelligent. The three rebellious fish concoct a plan for revenge and the facility and all its crew are put in very grave danger.
With a very strong cast including Samuel L. Jackson (seriously, is there anything this guy isn’t in?) and Stellan Skarsgard, Deep Blue Sea promises to be an action packed thrill ride but is somewhat lacking, although it’s hard to put your finger on what. It seems to be a rule in film, when there’s more than one (or perhaps two at a push) script writers, it generally suggests that the script was a pain in the ass to write. Deep Blue Sea has three script writers, and although the dialogue really doesn’t play an important part when the sharks start picking people off, it’s obvious that the script is flawed.
For a film made in the late 90’s (1999 to be exact) it can be forgiven for its questionable special effects, after all it is over a decade old. However its contemporary Jaws, which was made over 20 years before Deep Blue Sea, does a much better job by utilising a bit of subtlety and while the shark is obviously fake, we don’t see enough of it for its rubberiness to become laughable. Deep Blue Sea on the other hand tries too hard to create real looking sharks and some of the animation, particularly when Samuel L. Jackson‘s character gets eaten, is terrible.
An enjoyable film with a decent plot and some reasonably gory action. The cast is strong but could have benefitted from a better script, and although the animation does let it down slightly, the levels of gore and action are enough to satisfy anyone looking for a bit of a thrill.