Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Genres - Thriller, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Sea Adventure, Natural Horror  |   Release Date - Jul 30, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 108 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Adam Goldberg

There are very few deep moments in Deep Blue Sea, a high-octane Hollywood shark-attack that just may satisfy action-starved audiences searching for a fish stick. Deep Blue Sea exists somewhere between The Abyss and Piranha 2: The Spawning in the spectrum of underwater monster thrillers. The plot is a model of unabashed movie clich├ęs, as an unexpected storm (of course) strands a group of scientists on an underwater facility with super-sharks. Director Renny Harlin, who also gave birth to Die Hard 2 and the abominable Cutthroat Island, knows that his shark opus is nothing more than trashy genre schlock with characters that aren't worth developing because they will quickly become fish food. However, this is the sole reason that Deep Blue Sea possesses some worthy characteristics. Aside from the epic, water-soaked action sequences, there is one particular moment that makes this seemingly familiar film worthwhile -- a scene in which a lead character gives a speech to motivate his colleagues to triumph over the encroaching sharks. While it's the typical action-movie speech (punctuated, naturally, with inspirational music), as the speech comes to a close, a shark disrupts the moment with a maneuver that has to be seen to be believed. This unexpected surprise perfectly exemplifies Renny Harlin's tongue-in-cheek approach to the absurd material. He knows that his film is nothing more than Jaws meets Jurassic Park, but he manages to add in enough deep-sea surprises to break the typical monotony of the genre. What begins as a carbon copy of the predictable turns into a see-worthy adventure that is more than the average fish schtick.