Deep Blue Sea (1999) Review

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Deep Blue Sea (1999): 9 out of 10: is a science fiction thriller film released in 1999. The film revolves around a group of scientists who conduct genetic experiments on sharks to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The experiments involve increasing the sharks’ brain size, which unexpectedly makes them smarter, more aggressive, and highly dangerous.

The plot follows a team of researchers led by Dr. Susan McAlester, played by Saffron Burrows, who work in a high-tech underwater research facility, Aquatica, located off the coast of a remote island. When a corporate executive, Russell Franklin (played by Samuel L. Jackson), arrives at Aquatica to evaluate the research project’s progress, things quickly take a dark turn.

During his visit, a freak accident occurs, leading to a massive breach in the facility’s security. The genetically enhanced sharks take advantage of the chaos to stage a series of attacks, causing havoc and destruction. The research team, along with Franklin and a small crew, must now fight for their lives as they become trapped in the submerged facility, which is rapidly flooding.

The survivors must navigate a maze of dark, flooded corridors while being relentlessly pursued by the highly intelligent and vengeful sharks. Dr. McAlester, along with shark expert Carter Blake (played by Thomas Jane) and the resourceful chef Preacher (played by LL Cool J), lead the desperate battle for survival.

As tensions rise and the body count increases, the group must find a way to outsmart the sharks, overcome their differences, and escape from the facility before it floods completely. They come to realize that the only way to stop the relentless predators is to use their scientific knowledge to their advantage.

“Deep Blue Sea” is a heart-pounding and suspenseful thriller that combines the fear of the deep sea and the terror of genetically enhanced sharks. The film explores themes of scientific ethics, the consequences of tampering with nature, and the struggle for survival in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Good

The Good: Sometimes one scene really makes a film. If you have seen the film, you know I am talking about Samuel L. Jackson’s rousing avalanche speech. If you have not, I will spoil no more.

Leaving aside that one scene, this is a solid entry in the B movies with A budgets and casts genre. Besides Samuel L. Jackson, we have Michael Rapaport (Before he got too weird), Stellan Skarsgård (Before he got old), LL Cool J (Who is very good), and Janice from the Sopranos. Also, I would be remiss, not to mention Jacqueline McKenzie as the blonde cutie.

The effects hold up well today, particularly the practical effects on the sharks. The idea of doing medical research on sharks at an old abandoned sub base in the middle of the ocean is screenwriting genius. Allowing a reason for people not to be able to escape and a reason for both the people and sharks to be where they are.

The Bad

The Bad: The last ten minutes of Deep Blue Sea kind of drag a bit. What should be a climax of the film seems somewhat indeterminable.

The idea that a foreign national air ambulance would show up minutes after an injury in the middle of what looks like a tropical storm probably stretches incredulity more than anything else in the film.

From a storytelling point of view understand the characters explaining everything to financier Samuel L. Jackson is a way for the screenplay to explain everything to the audience. But Samuel seems a little too tuned in not to have known all this already. (And the script points this out when he knows the arrest history and current legal status of the diver.) In addition, the hostility of some crewmembers to the guy who holds their purse strings and future in his hands seems more screenwriters fantasy than anything grounded. (At least to his face).

The Ugly

The Ugly: There are two sequels to Deep Blue Sea. I do not know how good they are. They appear to be direct to video movies using the name. The reason I do not know how good they are is that I have never seen them on any streaming service. C’mon guys, I need more shark attack movies with Casper Van Dien to make fun of. Actually strike that last thought. Looking over the IMDb pages for Deep Blue Sea 2 and Deep Blue Sea 3 I do not know who any of these people are. Nice posters though I have been fooled before.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Deep Blue Sea is a favorite of mine. There is something comforting about the movie. It is an excellent setup for a monster movie (Again kudos to screenwriters Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, and Wayne Powers). The movie has enough of a budget to do justice to the script and a topnotch cast. It is also funny in many places, scary and legitimately entertaining. Like I said, a really fun time at the movies.

When being attacked by a monster shark (or Alien) it is important for female characters to undress till they are wearing skimpy white underwear.
Birdie meets fishie.
Who the hell is this guy? Stellan Skarsgård’s stunt double is not passing muster here. The sharks stunt double is almost a perfect match however.
Speaking of Stellan Skarsgård. This is some great acting.
Minus Thomas Jane this is pretty much our crew.
Today on this is not going to end well.
Well good news School Test scores are on the rise. Also Gene Hackman from The Firm is taking on plaintiffs in Derry since their sewer system started producing killer clowns.
You know Samuel L Jackson’s avalanche story is pretty fascinating. David Shelby is a closeted homesexual and the wealthy owner of a new ski resort nestled below a snow-covered mountain. He invites his ex-wife, Caroline Brace who has four biological and ten adopted children one of whom married her ex lover. Then there is an Avalanche.
Seriously the air evacuation helicopter is the biggest piece of science fiction in Deep Blue Sea.
I am happy to be reviewing a movie with helicopters again. Got to get in my helicopter shots.
And random girl in bikini (Sabrina Geerinckx) who is never seen again in film shots.
And of course shark being all sharky shots.
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