Film Review

Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea

Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea is about as loud, silly, gory and hilarious as you’d expect a ‘killer smart shark’ flick to be and is for the most part a lot of fun, even if it sometimes dissolves into eyeball melting pandemonium. The premise is actually a good one: a brilliant and obligatorily sexy scientist (the lovely Saffron Burrows) has developed a potential formula to treat Alzheimer’s using genetic material from shark brains, and she’s gotten a high level executive (Samuel L. Jackson) to convince his CEO boss (a brief, contemplative cameo from Ronny Cox) to sign off on funding, pending an inspection visit to her test facility out in the ocean. There we meet others including shark hunting guru Thomas Jane, gruff scientist Stellan Skarsgard, oddball cook LL Cool J and grunt Michael Rapaport, all who make great cannon fodder for the marauding sharks once they decide they’re too smart to be lab rats for these people anymore. There are some great gory kills here and the timing of them is sometimes genuinely shocking and inspired, including one death scene that is straight out of the book of nihilism and dark humour 101 and had me laughing hard. It’s basically a decent B movie souped up with Hollywood effects, tons of explosions and while it has the misfortune of being released when CGI wasn’t too great (it shows), it also has the advantage of being made at a time when shark horror films weren’t over saturated and done to death like they are these days and as such feels somewhat fresh, especially given its additional premise of sentient sharks. It’s fun, engaging and a bit cacophonous in some instances where it could have employed more stealth and suspense, but overall a good example of the shark sub genre.

-Nate Hill

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