Saturday, July 4, 2009

Movie Review: Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea
Rated R (Or PG-13 according to my DVD)
2 Slimes
Copyright Warner Bros. 1999

THE CHARACTERS

Carter Blake: Thomas Jane! He is a professional shark hunter who works for Susan, who has a criminal past. He grows worried when the sharks become too intelligent and too aggressive. Think of him as this movie’s John McClane if anything. He is one of the 2 survivors of the film.

Dr. Susan McCallister: She is a scientist who is trying to develop a cure for Alzheimer by testing on Mako sharks. She manages to develop her cure, but ends up losing it in the shark commotion. She is an idiot (Most scientists are in these movies) who doesn’t want her sharks injured and puts herself at risk just for her research. She ends up sacrificing herself, which she didn’t have to do, but we thank her for anyways.

Sherman “Preacher” Dudley: LL Cool Jay! He is Aquatica’s religious cook, who has a mean spirited and badmouth bird. He has a crucifix around his neck at all times and is a positive influence throughout the film. He even takes out 2 sharks. He is one of the 2 survivors.

Tom “Scoggs” Scoggins: Michael Rapaport! He is an engineer working at Aquatica. He is a pleasant and wise cracking guy who is very good at his job. He does get a bit nervous a lot though. A shark rips him in half.

Dr. Jim Whitelock: Stellan Skarsgård! He is supposedly an extremely intelligent scientist, who like peeing out in the open. He likes to smoke and one of the sharks let him that smoking is bad for him. His arm is ripped off and he is used as a battering ram to break up the glass of the control room.

Russell Franklin: Samuel L. Jackson! He is one of the financial backers who is financing Susan’s Alzheimer’s cure. He comes to Aquatica to observe the experiments and tests in person. He is ripped apart by two sharks.

Dr. Janice Higgins: She is a marine biologist working at Aquatica. She is in love with Whitelock and has a strong devotion to him. She is a big baby that constantly whines and provides nothing to this film in general, outside of being the blond girl. One of the sharks eats her.

Brenda Kerns: She is the communications specialist who enjoys loud music. She is killed when the helicopter crashes into the communications tower where she is at.

Sharks: Unusual, too smart for their own good, big-assed mako sharks! There are 3 of them so it is 3 times as a bad. They are very quick, very aggressive, and are very persistent. They become extremely intelligent when they are being tested on. Heck, they can even back paddle and recognize when people are carrying weapons. The baby shark is killed in the kitchen, the second one is electrocuted, and the third one is blown up.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Testing for an Alzheimer’s cure on a shark is not a good idea.
+ Wine works the same as blood for a shark.
+ Underwater research lab are not very stable or built very well.
+ Sharks don’t like secondhand smoke and inspirational speeches.
+ Sharks can grow and ungrow to fit inside of tight corridors.
+ Crucifixes are excellent weapons against sharks. Just aim for the eye.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
2 min – Who cares what it is! Just get out of there!
4 min – That’s good, but how does that explain how your base lost the sharks?
9 min – Sharks seem to love license plates. Also, it’s from Louisiana! Just like that plate they found inside of the tiger shark in Jaws.
11 min – Don’t stand too close to the edge.
18 min – Fatality! Shark style.
24 min – It is official, this is the coolest underwater base I have ever seen! Jurassic Park, eat your heart out!
28 min – I guess that sharks aren’t getting that smart.
30 min – Give them a point for a good surprise.
33 min – Let’s see that again in instant replay! Shark goes in slowly, but quickly enough. Bites down on the arm, rips it right off! Amazing!
34 min – STOP WITH THE SLOWMO! It only worked when the shark bite the guy’s arm off!
36 min 13 sec – FREEZE FRAME! It’s Ernie from George Lopez!38 min – Stupid faulty cable lines.
39 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A HELICOPTER AND A COMMUNICATIONS TOWER!41 min – I saw this once in Jaws 3. Another thing, someone shouldn’t have skimped out on the weak glass.
46 min – Who built this place anyhow? It’s so weak!
51 min – Run!!!
54 min – NOOOOO!!!! The bird! Not the bird!
60 min – [Movie reviewer spits out his soda all over the screen.]
63 min – Hmm… why is everything still burning?
65 min – Stop looking back people!!
68 min – Preacher: Hey guys, what’s up?
76 min – Nothing like leaving a recipe behind for everyone.
77 min – This movie once again gets rid of a likeable character.
81 min – Hold the phone! How did that shark get in the room and why has it changed size?
82 min – And now something for the guys!
83 min – Electrocution is the second popular way to kill a shark.
88 min – Crucifixes not only make great thing to pray with, but they are handing against sharks.
91 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A STEEL GATE!93 min – Sssssslllllllooooowwwwwwmmmmmooooooo!!!!!!
95 min – Yippee ki yay, m**********r! Oh come on! The director directed Die Hard 2, why not have it in here?
96 min – That blood will attract other sharks for miles.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Carter Blake: No, what you've done is taken God's oldest killing machine and given it will and desire. What you've done is knocked us all the way to the bottom of the goddamn food chain. It's not a great leap forward in my book.

Dr. Susan McCallister: We have to kill her.
Carter Blake: That's the smartest thing you've said all day.

Tom Scoggins: Now you see how that works? She screwed with the sharks, and now the sharks, they're screwing with us.

THE PLOT

More often or not, shark movies are misfires, low budget flicks, or terrible attempts at trying to be as good as the original film, Jaws. Then there was a movie that came out about a decade ago. It promised killer sharks killing and attacking scientists in an underwater research lab. It was called Deep Blue Sea. Would it be good or would be like, you know, every other shark film out there besides Jaws? Let’s see.

We find ourselves somewhere in the middle of the ocean where a bunch of drunk colleges are having a party on a boat. A shark attacks their boat and they all stumble into the water, even though they were in the middle of the boat. I blame the females in the group, because they pushed the guys in while they were panicking. They luckily saved by shark hunter, Carter Blake, who captures the shark.

We then go to some random place where we meet Dr. Susan McCallister, who is talking to her financial backers. They provide the money she needs to run her underwater facility called Aquatica, which is where she is working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This latest shark incident has made its way into the papers and the backers aren’t too please with what is happening and the lack of progress. She is given 48 hours to produce something and Russell Franklin, one of the financial backers, goes along to watch how everything happens. I’m reminded of Jurassic Park…

They arrive at the base and meet Carter Black; Dr. Janice Higgins, a marine biologist; Brenda Kerns, the communications specialist; Tom Scoggins, an engineer; Dr. Jim Whitelock, another scientist; and Sherman “Preacher” Dudley, the base’s cook. They are also introduce to 3 incredibly large mako sharks that have been tested on.

Most of the regular crew goes home for the weekend, while a select bunch (As I mentioned) stay behind as the skeleton crew. We learn that the sharks have been tested on, which has made their brains larger so more brain fluid can be extracted, that supposedly will have some sort of cure for the disease in it. We also find out that the sharks have become more aggressive and that a storm is rolling in towards there underwater base. I sense a future problem.

They begin their testing on the sharks at night, because you know, doing things that have to do with a shark is done better at night. Carter goes out into the water cage to get a shark, but 2 of them attack him on the spot, despite being inside of a steel cage tunnel. When he takes aim at them with a spear gun, the sharks back pedal away! Sharks always seem to do that in these movies. Another, I assume that these sharks are starting to get a little bit too smart. Heck, they even take out 3 of the underwater cameras.

Anyways, they capture a shark and lifted it up from the water into the lab. They extract some brain fluid from the shark. After some testing with the substance, they discover that they have developed the cure for Alzheimer! Hooray! Unfortunately, the shark does not share the enthusiasm that the team has and promptly bites of the arm of Whitelock. Carter grabs a rifle from the supply case and tries to kill the thing, but Susan frees the beast back into the water cage. WHY?! Have revenge against the damn thing that ripped off the arm of your friend!!

They manage to call in a helicopter to lift Whitelock to safety, despite the large storm that is happening. They attach the medical stroller, which he is in, to the helicopter’s winch cable. However, the motor cable fails and he is dropped into the water. Then in an extremely intelligent move, the shark from before grabs the cable and drags the helicopter in the air into the communications tower. The helicopter blows up, killing the pilots and Brenda in the tower. Did the sharks though this would happen?

Back below in the lab, pretty much everything is going to hell. The systems are down and part of the base is falling to pieces. Everyone is now looking outside the window and trying to see what is happening. Apparently, one of the Makos has grabbed the medical stroller that Whitelock is in and flings it had the window, which causes it to crack. How did the shark even know that they use cheap glasses anyways? Everyone flees the room and ends to the stairwell, but it has completely flooded. Also, the elevator has completely seal up, meaning they are all trapped on their level of the underwater base. We also find out the Susan has been purposely altering the sharks for her cure and making them far more intelligent. We already knew that, but it’s good to know now so we can all blame her for this.

Meanwhile, Preacher is looking around on his level, trying to figure out what has just happened. His section, along with everyone else’s, is starting to take on water and extremely quickly. He is soon up to his neck in water, trying to look for his bird and figure out a way out. While combing the flooded halls, the baby Mako, enters and proceeds to chase him down. He flees into the kitchen, arms himself with a fire ax, and climbs to higher ground on some cabinets.

He then spots his bird, floating on top of one of the pots. He reaches for him, but the shark comes up and eats it, causing Preacher to fall into the water in surprise. He swims for it and hides in his oven for cover. He breaks out of it and swims for cover. He finds a lighter floating in the water and clicks it on. He tossed it at the shark and causes him to explode. The reason for this is because when the shark was attacking the oven, it turned on the gas, filling the room. So, one spark in the right place and the shark went kaboom. I firmly believe that the best way to kill any shark is by blowing it up.

Back to everyone else, they have managed to make their way to another level. They start to panic a lot, so Franklin makes a big speech about working together and trying to find a way out. However, a shark breaks out of a pool of water behind him and eats him alive. Can’t say that wasn’t surprising at all.

Anyways, the remaining 4 survivors (Janice, Susan, Carter, and Tom in case you are wondering) take an elevator shaft up to the next floor. Water begins to fill the shaft, but Carter and Tom close it off. However, one shark breaks in the shaft and the water continues to rise. Carter buys some time by opening up the second floor so that the water can flood into that. With the water stalled, everyone continues up the shaft, but the building begins to fall apart and the ladder breaks off the wall. Everyone manages to hang on the top of the ladder slams into the other way, but Janice falls off into the water, where the shark promptly eats her.

Preacher then finds them in the shaft and helps them out. They are now the last level before they reach the surface, but the only stairwell left that can get them out has been flooded. Tom suggests that they go to a pump room on this floor that can drain the water, which will allow them to get to the top. Tom and Carter head to the area to get the pumps working, but are attacked by one of the sharks. It kills Tom and destroys the pump machine, leaving Carter to return back to everyone.

Now we see Susan wondering off to her office to find her research. She believes that her data she has been using can still be used to cure Alzheimer. Lady, give it up! You can create another cure at a later date using far less dangerous animals. A shark mysteriously shows up (must of phased through the door) and attacks her. She manages to kill it by electrocuting it, but it ends up destroying her research. Oh well, I could hardly care.

The three of them meet up and use an airlock to escape to the surface. On the way up, Preacher is attacked by the last remaining shark, but he manages to stab it with his crucifix in the eye, causing it to release him. They get up onto the platform and realize something. The cage underneath the water was made of titanium, but above the surface it is made of steel. In other words, the shark can easily bust through it since it is nearly underwater now since the base is sinking. Carter assumes the sharks have been purposely making them flood the base that it would sink, causing the weak fence on the surface to fall underwater so they could then break through it! If that is the truth, then these things are way too smart. Damn Susan and her experiments. They now must kill the shark so that it won’t escape into the ocean.

Carter combines a harpoon with explosive powder in the flares and having a steel cable attached to a loaded harpoon. The harpoon would hit the shark and then the steel cable would then be attached to a battery that would cause the explosive powder to go off, killing the shark. He must be channeling MacGyver or something.

He takes aim at the shark, but he can’t get a good shot off since it is too far away. Susan jumps into the water, after cutting her hand, and gets the attention of the shark. That’s noble and all, but it is simpler to stand by the edge and splash your feet, since that’s what gets most sharks’ attention in these movies. Anyways, she gets the shark’s attention and then realizes that this is a bad thing judging by her reaction. Well duh! To sum up what happens: the movie goes slowmo, she swims, and the shark rips her a new one.

Carter attacks the shark head on now, hitching a ride on its tailfin. As he rides the thing, Preacher finds the harpoon gun Carter dropped, takes aim, and fires a direct hit on the shark. Carter gets off and tells him to attach the steel cable to a battery there. The guy does and it ignites the powder inside of the harpoon, blowing up the shark to kingdom come! Both men cheer in success and watch as the crew for today’s shift arrives, providing them with escape.

Well the movie has ended and how did it turn out? Well, I safely say that this was an alright movie. Don’t get me wrong, it had a lot of problems going for it. Starting off with the bad, a lot of the actors and actresses’ characters weren’t really fleshed out and didn’t rise past just being one dimensional. The lead female character came off as an extremely unlikable character. In fact, it was said that she was suppose to live, but since test audiences hated her so much, she was written out to die. Another problem I found was the overall setting for the film, inside of the underwater base Aquatica. Oh sure, it was cool and all, but it was so bland, looking more like Jurassic Park. Speaking of which, there were tons of similarities between that film and this one with Samuel L. Jackson being the biggest similarity. Finally, there was way too much use of slowmo in this film. There were at least 6 scenes using it and it was only cool the first time.

Then there was good stuff in the film. The acting was good (As long as it was done by the characters with more depth to them) with Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J pulling of some great moments. The music was great and fit the action and suspense that happened throughout the film. It was intense when needed and pleasant as well.

Then it comes to the case within every shark movie, the sharks themselves. CGI (Most of the time) is used in the film to do the sharks. It is half and half. At some points, the sharks look good and terrifying and sometimes the sharks are a bit dull and boring looking. The same thing goes with the shark attacks which can be amazing to just unimpressive and boring to look at, despite a person being ripped to shreds. There is also some problems with the sharks in general. Their size seems to vary from scene to scene, from where they look to be almost Megalodon size and then to the point where the can fit inside a tight space corridor. I also believe the intelligence of the sharks was a bit much. I mean, I can believe they can work together, recognize weapons to avoid, and how to act dead if they were to get smarter, but it is a bit hard to swallow that they are smart even to drag the helicopter into the communications tower or plan on the sinking the entire base, just so they can escape through easily breakable fence.

Anyways, when it comes down to it, the movie is alright. I found it entertaining and thrilling at some points, but then I felt bored and uninterested as well. It has some acting, music, and amusing cliché plot, but then there is a lot of unlikeable characters, bad use of certain things from other good films, and the problem with the sharks in general. Either way, it’s not the worst shark movie out there and it’s a good popcorn flick to watch with your buddies. Just sit back, ignore glaring problems, and enjoy the carnage.

1 comment:

  1. Hated this. I remember an article in the paper a year before it came out, an it promoted a totally different concept for the film. I was disgusted with the CGI, as Jaws was done in 1975 with a big clunky model that couldn't handle sea water, fast forward 24 years, big budget and they can't even better it!?? Anyway, any film that contains Tom Jane, Sam L. Jackson and LL Cool J screams horsecrap.

    ReplyDelete