Deep Blue Sea

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5 out of 5
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Terror in the waters

by Wing on 12/4/1999

I think this movie is great. It puts JAWS to shame.

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by BILL on 12/5/1999


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Product Overview

Researchers ont he undersea lab aquatica have genetically altered the brains of captive sharks to develop a potential cure for alzheimer's disease. There's an unexpected side effect: the critters got smarter and meaner.


Studio Warner
SKU 40121286
UPC 085391724223
UPC 14 00085391724223
Format DVD
Release Date 5/31/2005
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Name Thomas Jane
Link Search Link
Name Michael Rapaport
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Name Renny Harlin
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Cast & Crew
LL Cool J. - Actor
Michael Rapaport - Actor
Samuel L. Jackson - Actor
Stellan Skarsgard - Actor
Mark Bridges - Costume Designer
Renny Harlin - Director
Stephen F. Windon - Director of Photography
Derek Brechin, et al. - Editor
Trevor Rabin - Musical Score
Bruce Berman, et al. - Producer
William Sandell - Production Designer
Duncan Kennedy, et al. - Screenplay
ReviewSource San Francisco Chronicle
Review Deep Blue Sea takes all the action cliches and introduces three big sharks to demolish them. Call it silly. Call it obvious -- there's nothing more obvious than a shark attack. But this is one of the few big-fish horror films that still has the power to surprise... Action director Renny Harlin -- who has to be accepted as a real talent in his sphere -- spends the first half-hour fooling the audience into thinking it's watching another dull, earnest adventure movie. Saffron Burrows plays a researcher trying to cure Alzheimer's disease by harvesting brain fluid from sharks. Fine. Any reason will do, so long as they send in the sharks. Samuel L. Jackson plays a financier who comes to spend a night at the researchers' elaborate underwater laboratory. (Mistake.) They're the usual band of merry, scruffy geniuses. Like the ones in Anaconda, like the ones in Twister, like the ones in Dante's Peak... The interior walls of the laboratory have the bluish look of diseased limbs in a medieval torture painting. But it takes a while for the movie to reveal its own taste for extremes. A man squats by a shark tank and lights a cigarette. At that moment a shark leaps up and bites off his arm. It is a profound anti-smoking statement. Deep Blue Sea is up and running. With an audacious combination of playfulness and wickedness, the movie takes two minutes to blow up everyone and everything unpromising. The film's course is transformed. Forget Alzheimer's. The survivors are trapped inside the underwater complex like meat in a tin can. Outside are 25-foot can openers. That's the whole story: Deep Blue Sea is an all-night eating binge, told from the standpoint of the food... Jackson is the only marquee name, but the cast lacks for nothing in talent and appeal. Rapper LL Cool J, who has been on the periphery of the movie business for several years, has the juiciest role as a preacher turned cook. He spends a good deal of the movie fighting a shark on his own, hiding in an oven in one scene while the shark strikes the glass. This is the third film that British model-turned-actress Saffron Burrows has made, and she still hasn't smiled. But she is one of the few young actresses who comes across as believable as a brilliant scientist. Thomas Jane, who made a name as Neal Cassady in the independent The Last Time I Committed Suicide, is a virile leading man, with blond good looks and a Don Johnson-like drawl. Of course, the sharks are also stars, and whether actual, animatronic or computer-generated, they look real in Deep Blue Sea. In fact, they look more than real. They have personality. When they show their teeth, they're not just getting ready for dinner. They're smiling. These sharks are smart enough to be in on the joke.
Reviewer Mick LaSalle
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Sharks, it is said, are all teeth and muscle, and have been doing two things very efficiently for millions of years: moving and eating. Deep Blue Sea resembles a shark. It moves ceaselessly, and someone gets eaten from time to time. The movie is a skillful thriller directed by Renny Harlin, who made Die Hard 2 and Cutthroat Island, and here assembles a neat package of terror, sharks and special effects. That isn't as easy as it sounds. After slogging through the predictability of countless would-be action thrillers, I admired the sheer professionalism of this one, which doesn't transcend its genre, but at least honors it... Common sense of course has nothing to do with the screenplay, ingeniously devised by Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers and Wayne Powers. Its premise is that the shark brains have been increased fivefold, with a corresponding increase in intelligence, so that the sharks can figure out the layout of the station and work together to batter down watertight doors, swim down corridors, etc. The most obvious problem with this premise is that just because a shark is smarter doesn't mean it has more information; the smartest shark in the world would only know how to be a smart shark [if] it had a way to learn. But never mind. The sharks exist in Deep Blue Sea as the Macguffins, creating situations that require the characters to think fast, fight bravely, improvise their way out of tight spots, dangle between flames and teeth, etc. There's a little perfunctory scientist-bashing, but not much (the Burrows character violates ethical guidelines, but, hey, it's for a good cause--fighting Alzheimer's). Jackson is more or less the straight man in the cast. Jane handles most of the action duties, convincingly if of course not plausibly (in other words, he looks like he can hold his breath underwater indefinitely, even though we know it's impossible). The surprise in the cast is LL Cool J, who has a kind of Cuba Gooding Jr. quality as a cook whose best friend is a parrot, and who hides from the shark in an oven, which the shark cleverly sets to 500 degrees. The movie is essentially one well-done action sequence after another. It involves all the usual situations in movies where fierce creatures chase victims through the bowels of a ship/spacecraft/building (the Alien movies, Deep Rising, etc). It's just that it does them well. It doesn't linger on the special effects (some of the sharks look like cartoons), but it knows how to use timing, suspense, quick movement and surprise. Especially surprise. There is a moment in this movie when something happens that is completely unexpected, and it's over in a flash--a done deal--and the audience laughs in delight because it was so successfully surprised. In a genre where a lot of movies are retreads of the predictable, Deep Blue Sea keeps you guessing.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Dual Layer, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times With expert filmmaking and up-to-the-minute effects!
Jules Peimer, WKDM-Radio/New York Bigger, better and more frightening than JAWS!

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