Medical research into a treatment for Alzheimer’s is underway in a science station out in the middle of the ocean. Of course, the scientists have genetically modified sharks to increase the size of their brains in order to harvest enough material of a particular protein to succeed. As one of the characters puts it: “As a result, the sharks got smarter”.
Amazingly enough, smart sharks don’t really want to hang around a scientific research lab where they are the guinea pigs and so embark on a ridiculous scheme to sink the facility and escape into the “Deep Blue Sea”.
Deep Blue Sea is one of those movies you know you shouldn’t like. It’s riddled with clichés and is kind of self-aware that it is a poorer imitation of other movies that have done sharks and ocean horror better. There’s a few moments when you might actually believe this is supposed to be a parody rather than a horror/thriller in its own right, however there are insufficient of these moments to accept that it was ever intended to be viewed in that light. So what you end up with is a mish-mash of moments that might have been tense if handled better, a few genuine jump scares, the occasionally well delivered character moment, interconnected with some really cheesy dialogue, lame special effects, and a plot that essentially makes you wonder if you haven’t seen this movie a thousand times before.
With all that said, I’ll be honest and point out I love this movie. I love terrible horror and this ticks all my boxes for a fun-filled weekend of bad horror watching. While the story is incredibly predictable and very little of the horror sticks, there’s something comforting and entertaining about formulaic cinema delivered tolerably well. And while none of the character performances are going to be nominated for any kind of award (except Samuel L Jackson who you have to wonder why he was in the movie, and the only award I’m nominating him for is most inappropriate place for delivering a monologue), none of the performances are so bad as to be painful.
Probably the weakest part of the story is the plot itself. While they try to set it up that the sharks are thinking and planning their way through this ‘escape’ very little of what they do seems sufficiently reasoned to justify this and a lot of the sharks’ ‘success’ is entirely dependent on the actions the humans take to escape and relies far too much on coincidence.
From the very beginning we see that one of the sharks has escaped and been retrieved. The shark wrangler worries about the height of the fences and so they are raised preventing further escapes. Okay, the sharks have motive. However what follows is incredibly reliant on narrative convenience. First there’s an ‘inspection’ by an investor about the progress being made. Also, it’s the weekend so almost all the staff are leaving and there won’t be another way out until after the weekend, plus a storm is coming in making rescue extremely difficult. Why is this inspection happening on the weekend? Wouldn’t he want to see the facility actually doing what it normally does?
Anyway, convenient storm and character who knows nothing allowing other characters to explain how various things around the facility works aside, we then have the demonstration of the experiment where the apparently sedated shark does this:
Apparently part of its master plan to get the humans to call for a rescue in a storm which then leads to a winch malfunctioning, dropping this guy while strapped to a gurney into the shark tank, allowing the sharks to use him to bludgeon the glass of the underwater facility and begin the process of sinking the facility. Excuse me? Run that one by me again because no matter what else happens in this plot, I am not buying this as a master plan.
Still, it wouldn’t have been a problem if the shark wrangler had shot the shark here and now, except that the crazy obsessed researcher saves the shark dropping it back into the tank. You wouldn’t want all that research to go to waste.
Oh the irony given later that is exactly what happens later when the data gets fried. Yeah, the plot is rubbish so if you are looking for a compelling storyline, pass right now. There’s no way I can recommend this story on plot.
Which is why the characters are so important. Each character in this story serves a purpose (and yes most of them serve the ultimate purpose of dying tragically or amusingly to inject some emotion into the story and to remind us it is a horror) but while they are alive they play an important role. The interactions between the characters are fairly formulaic and the dialogue is nothing revolutionary, but it moves quickly and the exchanges are entertaining. There’s some highly entertaining one-liners as well as some more forgettable moments of reflection, but all and all the characters work. The performances are decent enough with the material given to be delivered. While it is pretty obvious which characters will make it through to the final confrontation and which will survive, the timing of some of the deaths will still make for a reasonable jump scare even if you see it coming.
All that aside, it can’t be helped that a movie about killer sharks will be compared to Jaws yet there is really no point. Jaws has a slow build up and goes for sheer human drama of man vs beast. This story is really reaping what you sow and from the very beginning they bring gore and shock. Plus, they really want you to get a good look at these sharks as regularly as possible. There are few moments where they actually play with the idea of them being hidden under the water. So other than the shark thing, there’s genuinely very little similarity in the way these stories present.
My recommendation on this is pretty basic. If you like bad horror movies where the plot is obvious, character deaths will involve more blood than is necessary and will usually occur on screen in front of other characters so we can see those extremely over the top reaction shots from teh survivors, and you are in the mood for something that doesn’t seem ot be taking itself too seriously but isn’t a tongue in cheek parody, you will probably have fun with this film. I personally recommend watching it at the same time as Anaconda and Lake Placid and then you can wonder why your brain has turned to mush but you’ll have probably had a fun afternoon.
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17 thoughts on “Deep Blue Sea Movie Review”
Oh this movie brings back some stellar memories. The Samuel L Jackson speech, that LL Cool J mustache you never see him sporting again and that bad but not dreadful CGI. This is the film that all other bad shark movies try to be as good as. Truly the quintessential shark film for a bad horror night. You also reminded me I need to watch Lake Placid, since if it is being put in the same boat as Deep Blue Sea and Anaconda it needs to be watched. And I mean Anaconda has Owen Wilson…in a horror movie…when has that ever not been ironically hilarious.
I like this type of “horror” movies because they’re too badly done to scare me XD Or rather, I end laughing more than I end up being scared.
In fact, this one could only gross me out a bit. It was thoroughly entertaining and the characters were indeed what really brought it to life at times. Of course, they could be quite frustrating and their decisions make no sense most of the time, yet there was a charm to them that was hard to miss.
Great review 🙂
Definitely charming but moderately senseless characters. Staple of a good b grade horror really.
I actually have a fondness for accidents… Movies included. So yeah XD
Honestly this movie and a few others that you mentioned (Anaconda and Lake Placid) are three movies I watched so much as a kid! I have tremendous nostalgia for them and can’t help but enjoy them even though I know they are cheesy and bad. I remember making my mother play Deep Blue Sea so many times on repeat I’m sure she wanted to jump out the kitchen window (Scott Pilgrim style of course) every time I came into the room to ask her to start it again haha.
I know I did that to my parents with a few films (The Mummy is one my mother still won’t watch because she insists she can recite the dialogue line for line at this point).
I liked reading your review. I never thought of some of the things you brought up. But yeah I agree, it’s absurdly fun and entertaining to watch like Anaconda. The most absurd part involves SLJ, which you pointed out (I can never watch that scene without covering my eyes).
It’s worse when you know its coming because you are flinching even before it happens.
Great review. Kind of echoes my own personal sentiments on the film. I can’t help but love this movie. It’s got just enough cheese to it. Its almost endearing. A damn fun, but stupid shark movie to watch.
Agreed, just enough cheese going on.
I watched part of this movie some eleven to twelve years ago. It gave me nightmares. Particularly that mentioned Samuel L. Jackson monologue scene. Man, that really pushed the boundaries of my once innocent mind. Good review.
You do have ot admit, the timing was perfect on the Sameul L Jackson thing.
Glad you liked the review. Sorry the movie gave you nightmares.
oh my god
Oh my god, these are so my kind of movies. This really is a fun filled shark movie. I love shark movies so much, that I have an entire subsection in my dvd collection for it. This really was a great and fun filled movie. If you have not done so already, you might also want to check out Bait and Shark Night. Bait is the more interesting one, as it puts sharks in a pretty unique setting. I am not going to spoil things by saying where, but it really is well worth the watch. Shark Night is just a lot of fun, and contains some tense and interesting scenes as well. I could go on forever about this subject (which I am not going to do lol 😂). Great review!
I haven’t seen Bait so I will have to check it out at some point. I don’t specifically have a thing for sharks but I love creature feature movies. Snakes, bats, spiders, sharks, whatever, as long as its entertaining. I have quite the collection of terrible but fun movies to binge watch when I’m in just the right mood for it.
Lol, I love creature feature movies as well. That said, this might be an interesting feature for a post come to think of it 😀 Maybe if I have some time later this week, I might do a post about the worst (and ofcourse because of that the most fun) creature feature movies of all time. Bait will definitely fall into the category of entertaining. Another one you might like is Big Ass Spider. (I know the title sounds horrible), but it is a really fun filled movie, and Greg Grünberg is awesome in that one 😊
This movie is worth it just for that one shark scene. I don’t even need to clarify which one… 😛