Deep Rising (1998) Review

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Continuing the monster movie theme for this month I decided to watch Deep Rising, someone had mentioned this on Twitter when I asked for some recommendations for monster movies. Strangely or not if you know me this film had dropped completely from my mind until someone mentioned it. As soon as I looked it up I remembered having it on VHS and watching it quite a few times in my late teens, so the question is does it hold up or not?

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Director: Stephen Sommers

Writer: Stephen Sommers

Stars: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald

Run Time: 106 minutes

Budget: $45,000,000 (estimated)

Tag Line: Full Scream Ahead

Trivia – Harrison Ford turned down the role of Finnegan. The production’s budget was then downsized.

Trivia – Famke Janssen was almost not cast in this movie because the producers felt she was too recognizable from GoldenEye (1995)

The film is mostly set on a luxury cruise ship a big massive one at that. As the rich folk celebrate the first voyage of the ship Finnegan and his ship mates Leila and Joey are slowly making their way towards them in a small boat. However they are also carrying a group of mercenaries with some big bombs.

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It’s not a proper monster movie unless someone gets attacked in a toilet!

Finnegan and his crew get into a bit of an argument with the group but still take them wherever they want to go. Things get tricky when they arrive at the cruise ship and find a lot of dead bodies, it doesn’t take long for a massive tentacled beast to start attacking the mercenaries and everyone else.

Also on board the ship is wanted thief Trillian who was lucky to escape the initial attack of the sea monster after being caught and thrown into the “brig” She soon joins up with the group as they search the ship and avoid various attacks from the sea beast. Soon the group starts to thin massively in a variety of ways some quite gruesome.

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It’s burns, it burns

All this leads to a really fun action sequence as Trillian and Finnegan try to escape by riding jet-skis around the ship, along with some stupidly lucky gun shots and an outlandish plan they eventually come out on top.

The Good

  • The action scenes are all pretty decent.
  • Trillian, Finnegan and Joey are all pretty likable.
  • The monster is a cool design.
  • Some of the effects are still pretty decent even now.
  • I love the whole set up of the movie it’s pretty standard but the way the monster is shown in slowly until a reveal of it as a whole is great.
  • Good mix of characters weaselly, tough nuts, funny, sneaky and heroic.

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For once I didn’t want to see all the main characters die horrible horrible deaths

The Bad

  • The mix of characters is good but you could argue most are a bit too one dimensional.
  • I mentioned some effects are still decent but some are pretty bad in particular some of the CGI used during the jet-ski scenes was pretty poor.
  • The ending, now it wasn’t bad in itself but it hints at a sequel that we won’t ever get to see.
  • Trillian was likable but I felt we could have seen a bit more from her.

Best Scene – When one of the “villainous” characters wastes a bullet shooting at someone as he’s being attacked by the monster, he tries to kill himself but karma strikes as the bullet he wasted was the last one.

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The pincers seen early on don’t really do justice to how massive the main creature really is

This film is well worth a watch and I’d describe it as a forgotten gem, it’s not perfect and at times feels quite dated but that’s to be expected from CGI done nearly 20 years ago. The film runs at a decent pace, has some great action scenes, decent deaths and some likable main characters which isn’t common in monster movies. If you not seen this then go track down a copy and give it a watch, don’t take it too seriously simply sit back and enjoy this fun monster movie!

Overall Score – 7/10

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