Talent in Hollywood is defined by those who can get through to the brain-dead executives who populate the place. The greatest writer/director in the world might walk into the offices of Hollywood Pictures and explain the story for the potentially greatest film of all time, but unless that explanation is five words or less, he's more likely to watch that executive fart the lyrics to a Verdi opera than offer up a contract.
Writer/Director Stephen Sommers may not have an ounce of talent for filmmaking, but he sure got that pitch right: Aliens meets The Poseidon Adventure.
The set-up for Deep Rising is little more than a joke. Finnegan (Treat Williams) and his boat engineer, Pantucci (Kevin OConnor), escort a bunch of politically diverse mercenaries, including Hanover (Wes Studi) and Vivo (Djimon Hounsou), who are armed to the teeth. Then we see a luxury ship which houses lots of rich people and a jewel thief (Famke Janssen). Next thing you know the mercenaries happen upon the ship, which is now empty. Shortly after that, they realize a big serpent has eaten everybody and it's fire like mad, run like hell.
The best reason for all this happening is that the studio wanted to work on the computer-animated monster, an effect that failed miserably in Anaconda and An American Werewolf in Paris. Thus, they thought up this recycled story as a front. Since the monster is only smart enough to pick off the people one at a time, it gives the effects people lots of time to experiment.
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