Deep Blue Sea (1999) Review

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The mid 90’s to early 2000’s seemed to bring forth quite a few giant monster attack films, sharks, sea beasts, snakes, crocodiles, spiders lots of either giant real animals or made up big monsters wanted to attack people. Whilst Deep Rising had slipped my mind until someone mentioned it on Twitter, Deep Blue Sea I knew about and being as I reviewed Jaws, The Shallows and even Sharknado it seemed right to re-watch and review this one for my Monster Movie Month.

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Director: Renny Harlin

Run Time: 105 minutes

Budget: $60 million (estimated)

Tagline: Bigger. Smarter. Faster. Meaner.

Trivia – The license plate pulled from a shark’s teeth is the same plate as the one found in the tiger shark in Jaws (1975).

Trivia – For one scene, Thomas Jane had to swim alongside a real live shark. He was only allowed to shoot this once he had completed all his other scenes.

If you’ve seen the film it’s worth reading this LINK for an article about the originally planned ending.

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One thing that stands out as soon as you start watching Deep Blue Sea is the cast, there’s lots of recognisable faces in this film or maybe I watch too much TV. Obviously Samuel L Jackson stands out then you have The Punisher, Phoebe’s boyfriend from Friends, the scientist from the Thor films, LL Cool J, a brief appearance from the evil senator from Stargate SG1 and even Tony Soprano’s sister.

Anyway the film’s premise is pretty simple Russel Franklin (Samuel L Jackson) has funded an experiment on a floating base in the sea. The experiment is headed up by Dr Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) it involves experimenting on fluid in sharks brains to cure Alzheimers. Problem is things aren’t moving quick enough for the money men.

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She promises the investors she can deliver leading Franklin to go check out the base with her. Once there we meet stereotypical brash I don’t give a damn shark “hunter” Carter Blake and all the other goons that work on board the floating research facility.

With a massive storm approaching and the base running a skeleton crew things take a turn for the worse. The sharks they have in captivity start to behave strangely, eventually their behavior is so strange they start to attack the base. Due to the need to make progress in the experiments it turns out they’ve messed with the sharks genetically.

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LL Cool J easily the coolest and best character in the film

Anyone who watch horror films should know messing with animals genetically only leads to one thing, that’s right super smart animals that want to kill every human they come across. The sharks do so much damage to the base that the people on the skeleton crew end up trapped on the lower levels and have to fight their way to the top to try and escape.

With flooded corridors and super clever sharks on the hunt it’s not an easy task. As with most monster movies this all leads to a big final action scene as the surviving heroes battle against the monster at the end.

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Seemingly gets down to her bra and pants for no other reason than to get her in bra and pants!

The Good

  • LL Cool J’s chef is probably the best character bringing some amusement to the film throughout.
  • Unexpected deaths, people you’d normally expect to survive are taken out and ones you’d think would be taken out live, it’s really a lottery of deaths.
  • There’s also just the right amount of gore for a film like this.
  • The practical effects that are used still look reasonably good.
  • Carter Blake, although starting out stereotypical is a good lead character/action hero for the film.
  • There’s one totally brilliant death in this movie, if you’ve not seen it I can’t reveal it if you have seen it you know what I’m talking about!
  • The film never gets boring, it has a good build up and the action/chase scenes are all well timed to make sure it doesn’t drag anywhere.
  • The swearing parrot.

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Frank Castle versus super smart shark, my money is on The Punisher

The Bad

  • Dr Susan McAlester is a bit of a cretin.
  • The CGI as you’d expect from a film nearly 20 years old isn’t that great.
  • You need more than two eggs for the perfect omelette and also cheese!

The Brilliant

  • Samuel L Jackson’s character’s speech damn that was good!

There’s not really many more bad points to this film, it really is an enjoyable watch and although it doesn’t reach the  humour and action levels of say Tremors, it is as good as all the other films from this sort of time Lake Placid, Deep Rising, Anaconda etc. If you’re into monster movies or just want something that’s a great fun watch then this is the film for you. It’s well worth your time and it’s one that I’ll watch every few years or so if there’s nothing new out, so check it out!

Overall Score – 7.5/10

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