Director Renny Harlin (DieHard 2, Cliffhanger) delivers a technically proficient action film which lifts concepts from the movies Jurassic Park and Jaws. Scientists experiment with proteins in the brains of sharks to produce a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
When company president Russell Franklin, played by the stately Samuel L. Jackson, visits the facility, named Aquatica (described as a “floating Alcatraz”) the large sharks create some unforeseen problems in the project.
Enter the hero, a shark wrangler named Carter, played by newcomer Thomas Jane. Initially mysterious, this apt daredevil is expendable because of his checkered past. The project leader, Dr. Susan McAlester, played by Saffron Burrows, has strong reasons for Aquatica’s success which consequently steers the story into dangerous waters.
Various scientists/technicians, played by Michael Rappaport (Copland), Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting), and Jacqueline McKenzie, and a cook/preacher well played by LL Cool J, round out the cast.
The dialogue supports the plot, which is based on the sharks’ actions, and gives the audience necessary clues and information to keep you one step ahead of the characters. The surviving characters’ options are gradually reduced which leads to a satisfactory climax where human and shark face off.
Predictable mayhem and gore occur in a few expertly filmed underwater sequences, but these staged scenes don’t make the story very believable. It doesn’t really have to either because it’s just a movie. So, if you just view Deep Blue Sea as a decently produced piece of entertainment instead of a real story, you will enjoy the movie much more. Recommended with several reservations (** out of four stars) and rated R for gore and violence.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler