DEEP BLUE SEA
During my 8th grade field trip to Cherry Cove at Catalina Island for CIMI, I saw a sign that stated it you were more likely to win the lottery than to 1. get killed by lightning and 2. get killed by a shark. I forgot the odds, but they were all quite astronomical. The point of the sign was to assure us novice snorklers that we need not to be afraid of Jaws hunting plump human meat in the more shallow parts of the Pacific.
After watching DEEP BLUE SEA, I've determined that I will never snorkel or scuba dive in any ocean again for the rest of my life. You see, I may not be killed by a shark as the label indicates, but as the movie has taught me, I may have my right arm bitten off or god forbid, my family marbles. =)
Deep Blue Sea relies strictly on the action thriller formula of getting trapped in a seemingly impossible to escape situation with a group of survivors against foreign terrorizers, and fighting for your freedom and your life. Along the way, the bad guys slowly decimate the members of the crew one by one until only a selected few remain un-skewered. If you're still confused, think ALIEN RESSURECTION. For me, I thought I was watching AR under water. Total deja vu for any semi-enthusiastic movie go-er like me.
However, that doesn't make the movie bad automatically. Deep Blue Sea takes that formula and plugs in every variable required. Then it executes the order of operations flawlessly to equal a semi-predictable, but modestly enjoyable movie. Okay, enough lamo mathematical analogies. We all hated the quadratic formula in Algebra class, right? =)
Basically, the story surrounds a group of researchers that have homed in on finding the cure for Alzheimers and cancer. The fact is that sharks never retard with age, nor show any sign of memory loss. I hate biology and science classes overall, so I have no idea whether or not the theory is actually applicable. But anyways, it goes something like this: since sharks don't deteriorate with age, their brains have a certain protein that may help revive human brain cells. Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) and her team injects gene therapy drugs into those shark's brains, thus causing them to grow larger. Bigger brain equals more goodie proteins, but it also equals smarter sharks.
The action begins right after a thunderstorm hits Aquatica (the research laboratory). The main calvary that works at Aquatica has left for the weekend, and leaves only a small team demonstrating the technology to their financial supporter, Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson). The sharks sense something changing in the atmosphere, and thus they attack. Slowly but surely, they begin to flood every level of Aquatica as they herd the human around to do as they please. Oh, and eat them when they're hungry. Meanwhile, you get the human point of view. You sense their panic, and their distrust in each other as the sharks begin to pluck them off one by one and trap the exit points. Like I said earlier, very familiar settings. You can almost predict what's going to happen next. The sharks are trying to outsmart the humans, and the humans are trying to outsmart the sharks as they attempt to escape from Aquatica. Typical action thriller sequences in claustrophobic areas, but they do it well.
Of all the actors, Thomas Jane plays his role the best as Carter Blake. Carter is one of the main characters of the story, as he is an ex-convict on parole or something like that. He only works for Dr. McAlester cuz he's got something to lose. In the entire experiment, he's the only person brave enough to go underwater with the sharks and observe them. Plus, Carter also feels that he's under appreciated, but his hands are tied because of his murky past. Despite all that, he gives the audience the feeling of security. Because he's had first hand experience with sharks, and because he's the only human in Aquatica athletic and fit enough to swim with them, you tend to feel safe wherever he goes, because he'll know how to handle the situation. The researchers do the brainy things, but Carter is the true cord between the humans and the sharks.
Saffron Burrows plays her role adequately, but she gives me the feeling that she's either trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. Half of the scenes she is emotionless, and the other half she's screaming her head off. Watch for the scene where she tries to retrieve the data from her dorm room. She pulls a pretty gutsy acting move for a girl. Other actors include LL Cool J, who plays Preacher, the cook. Preacher is the character that provides the occational comic relief and the half-humerous, half-groaner one liners throughout the movie. As far as I'm concerned, LL Cool J wasn't half bad for a rapper turned actor.
Special effects wise, the sharks were very convincing. They had lotsa big teeth lined up around their jaws, and a ferocious appetite for man meat. And plus, their appearences generated all of the jumps and "whoa, damn, where did THAT come from" reactions from the audience. Deep Blue Sea wasn't very "scary" in terms of horror wise. I guarentee you there'll be at least once or twice you'll snap in surprise, but other than that, it's an enjoyable, albeit typical ride through.
Overall, the movie certainly was worth the matinee money I dished out for it. The director, Renny Harlin, keeps the film truckin' along, with very few moments which was ho-hum boring. The sharks were the best part of the movie, because they were portrayed as the ultimate killing machine made under God. They were present in the earliest era's of Earth, and without any natural predators. Add an extra dose of brains and that'll make the most terrifying creature on earth, even above humans. Deep Blue Sea teaches you that if you mess with nature, it'll come back and bite you in the ass... literally!
Overall Rating: B