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Movie Reviews

Deep Blue Sea

"Deep Blue Sea" is really stupid. Deliriously, outlandishly stupid. But for all its stupidness, I can guarantee you that never before has the subject of three gigantic sharks with genetically enhanced brains menacing five scientists and a cook in a rapidly flooding underwater research station been handled with such flair, style and wit.

Perhaps there are a few scientific booboos. (The credibility of the scientific references is not helped by the actors here, who seem to be looking really hard for the cue card with the pronunciation guide on it whenever they have to say something like "micronucleation.") Perhaps some of the actors and -resses could have been outdone in their roles by gigantic human-shaped blocks of Styrofoam. But you wouldn't see this film expecting it to be adapted from Shakespeare. You'd see it to watch some people get offed in what hopefully would be unpredictable ways by "Earth's oldest predator," as the movie helpfully terms them about seventy times. And you'd get what you were hoping for. In heaping helpings. This film is directed by Renny Harlin, who made a couple good movies and a couple really bad ones. The good ones, though diverse in subject matter, all had one thing in common: their unutterable basic stupidity. It is my joyous duty to report that this is one of the good ones, and my not-very-sad duty to report that it is indeed stupid.

Why is this movie so stupid? Well, there's the obvious issue of the premise. Once you slop something like that up there, you've lost all hope. But Harlin relishes it, making sure that all the scenes of such unintelligent activity such as blowing up most of the station and having humans eaten by the enormous unnatural sharks are filmed in slow motion so we get the most stupidity we possibly can. Harlin's sense of timing and pace, too, is impeccable, making sure that we are surprised by a shark at just the precise right moment when we are not expecting it, adding to the goofy air. (And someone want to tell me how sharks know how to operate ovens? Entertaining, yes, but irredeemably stupid.) Some may say that the fact that most of the characters in the movie are intelligent and resourceful, as opposed to the classic horror movie hero/ine who always runs somewhere where he or she can't escape from the power-tool-wielding maniac, diminishes the stupidity. Indeed, it is a joy to watch characters in time of crisis not acting like they have their heads in certain well-known orifices. But really, this is throwing good intelligence after bad.

The cast deserves some comment, as it is the cast which ultimately determines whether the stupidity will be executed with heart-racing brio or boring dispassion (or, worse, seriousness!). A lot of Harlin's movies, good and bad, starred his ex-wife Geena Davis. Her strong female role here is taken by Saffron Burrows, who is not a tony suburban development but an Englishwoman who happens to be an almost exact double for Davis except that she's skinnier. She acquits herself well, although how much of it is her acting ability and how much is her English accent I don't know. Samuel L. Jackson delivers his usual rousing performance; it's getting so one has to think of reasons not to see a movie with Samuel L. Jackson in it. There are two other guys who have nothing to do except be nerdy and muscled (respectively), which posts they fill well. There is also a woman imitating Anne Heche who needed to die much sooner than she did, as she talks in an incredibly artificial-sounding tone of voice and collapses, immobile, from emotion just because she's just seen her late husband used as a battering ram by one of the sharks to flood the underwater sea station.

But the big surprise here is LL Cool J, who is running a distant second to Will Smith in the race to turn from rapper into successful actor. Playing a cook here, he evinces unassailable, inspiring courage in the face of adversity and is consistently entertaining without ever touching any real depths of any kind. Indeed, that description serves well for the whole movie. While it can't claim the weightiness or depth of the title noun by any means, it is quite rousing fluff. In other words: the perfect summer entertainment.

 

Attractive Man Count: 1.

Attractive Woman Count: 1.

Overall Grade: B+.

 

Did you know humans make a sound like Pringles when sharks eat them? I mean, if you believe this movie Lindemann

 

All this tasty writing ©2002-11 by Andrew Lindemann Malone. All rights reserved.