Shark Week continues with a look at genetic engineering in sharks in Deep Blue Sea. The 1999...it's unfair to call it a crapfest, but it's the first thing that comes to mind.
I say it's unfair because, it wasn't that bad. If it were a SciFi Channel movie, Deep Blue Sea would be the cream of the crop. But, alas, it was not. This was a...major motion picture, so to speak, in that it got a theatrical release and an ad campaign that I can somewhat remember 8 years later. Hell, it even had a website! Look! Now THAT is some killer site design!
Deep Blue Sea begins the way ALL shark movies begin, an attack on some attractive young people. You see, sharks abhor ugly people, they taste kind of weird, so they only go for the good looking ones. It's true! I think I saw it on Wikipedia!
So, pretty people are being attacked, but before the shark can eat any of them, here comes Thomas Jane playing Carter and looking like Christopher Lambert to save the day. No, really. Thomas Jane could have been a stand in for Lambert in Highlander looking like that.
It's a genetically engineered shark that has escaped from the Aquatica test facility. You see, they're trying to create a cure for Alzheimer's, because the doctor lady's dad died or something, and she's just doing everything she can to...I don't know. But, she's trying to cure Alzheimer's by any means necessary, dammit.
Then there's Samuel L. Jackson, playing...himself, I guess? It's Sam Jackson as a rich guy, it's his money that is funding the research. Also, it should be noted that he survived an avalanche. This is really important, they bring it up all the fucking time. It's really irrelevant, but, hey...whatever, it's their movie.
So, in an effort to save their funding, they want to take one really good go at making this...serum? I don't remember, brain activating protein...stuff. So, they conduct their test on the shark. And it WORKS! Yay! Congratulations all around! These guys fucking rule! And it's all parties and cupcakes until someone's arm gets eaten.
Oh shit! They have to get him some help. Easy enough, get a helicopter in here and take him to shore, right? Sure. But it's storming outside, and the winch is broken, so our armless scientist falls into the water...and do you know what's in the water? I think you do...3 really smart sharks. They grab hold of him and are, apparently, strong enough (and smart enough) to drag the helicopter into the building.
Look, I've seen Jaws 2 and I'm capable of believing that a shark can rip the shit out of a helicopter...but laying siege to a research facility? I dunno. I mean, I know I couldn't plan out an attack like that, but I'm to believe a shark could? Well...if you say so.
The sharks lay siege to the facility, they're trying to get to the researchers. Which leads to such random and...well, bizarre deaths. What do I mean, well, look:
This is Sam Jackson getting killed. Supposedly. His character I mean. Out of nowhere this shark eats him, mid speech (a lot like Hero in Feast actually). That is's kind of random is fine...but, well, look at the CGI on this...
I just love the...um...pose that he's in. The sort of 'I dunno' shoulder shrug as the shark's mouth envelopes him. That and that it looks like shit.
Like I said, this would have been a great SciFi Original, but it's not. What it is is a fairly entertaining b-movie with a nonsensical plot, flimsy, underdeveloped characters and an ending that seems to be out of character for everyone involved. We're supposed to believe that someone who was willing to risk everyone else to save her research is now going to sacrifice herself?
It's worth a watch, though not worth buying. It's good Saturday afternoon fare. And let's be honest, when it comes to questionable science, it's no Event Horizon. 6 and 1/2 scientists falling into the mouths of super smart sharks out of 10.
Edit: Oh, and LL Cool J plays a cook who, despite being extraneous and poorly developed, manages to, in the end (and beyond any sort of plausibility), save the day.