Deep Blue Sea

Bomb Rating: 

"Deep Blue Sea" reeks of a desperation that at this point can only be called "Harlinesque."

Not the intricate CGI work, not the the super-sleek, big-ass platform in the middle of the ocean, not Dr. Susan McAlester's (Saffron Burrows) valiant goal to cure Alzheimer's by screwing around with shark brains -- none of these things can save a movie built on characters who could easily be outwitted by killer barnacles, much less killer sharks. The one snippet of reality that's always curiously missing from these types of films is that none of their characters, apparently, have ever seen a movie -- you know, like "Jaws" or "Aliens."

Forget that Sherman "Preacher" Dudley (L.L. Cool J) has a line about how the brother never survives these types of situations; that hardly qualifies. I'm looking for somebody to say, the second they land on that platform, "Didn't one of you dumb bastards ever read 'Frankenstein'?" or "We're conducting uncertain experiments on sharks in a confined space? Great! While we're at it, why don't you stick a porcupine up my ass?" Or better yet, "Ok, fine, I¹m on board, but the second I hear any creepy music, I'm shooting myself right in the fucking head."

Unfortunately, nobody ever questions why these brainiacs do everything but write "eat me" on themselves in fresh blood. Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), the ex-con, doesn't ask because he's a good swimmer and probably has a peep hole into Dr. McAlester's quarters. Russell Franklin doesn't ask because he's too full of himself and his money. Tom (Michael Rapaport) thinks the station is secure. Jim (Stellan Skarsgard) doesn't seem to care much about anything.

"Deep Blue Sea" reeks of a desperation that at this point can only be called "Harlinesque." It's that kind of last gasp where you sense director Renny Harlin attempting to cling to the notion of "director as creative inspiration" while simultaneously crying to his producers about "not wanting to reinvent the wheel." One also imagines him spending every other Tuesday serving his peers hors d'oeuvres in a french maid's outfit as his continuing penance for having made "Cutthroat Island." If "Jaws" was the stick shift of shark films, "Deep Blue Sea" is the automatic. Nothing moves in this film that isn't entirely predictable.

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