Deep Blue Sea

Rated: R
Runtime: 1 Hour and 45 Minutes

Reviewer: Dale
Grade: C-

Just in case you were wondering: this movie is not as good as "Jaws". I know that is a shocking discovery, but sooner or later we all have to face up to these unpleasant facts of life and it's better that you hear this from me before it is too late.

From the plot you should know that this film is garbage. A group of scientists (who have obviously never seen the movie "Jaws", read the book or even watched the Discovery Channel) want to bring about a cure for Alzheimer's. Of course, they experiment on animals. But what animals do they choose to experiment on? Why, sharks, naturally. The film makes up some B.S. excuse as to why this is feasible, but if you are anything like me, you will be laughing too hard to pay attention. Of all the animals on Earth that could be chosen to make smarter, I would say that sharks would just about be at the bottom of my list. But, you know, I never went to Fake Movie Science School.

There is only one reason that a movie like this exists and that is shark attacks. The sharks attack, people scream, someone gets munched. Sharks attack, people scream, someone becomes dinner. Routine, really. And, of course, the film can't be bothered enough to actually make us care about the people on the smorgasborg. In "Jaws" the reason we get so uneasy whenever a main character goes on the beach is because we care about them and we don't want them to end up as a slick of blood floating atop the water. I like Roy Scheider and don't want to see him end up as chum, for example. But any of the characters in "Deep Blue Sea" could easily pass through the bowels of a Great White and I wouldn't flinch. In fact, I had a running list of people I WANTED to see become late lunch for the CGI sharks. Especially L.L. Cool J as a born again Christian with a foul-mouthed parrot. Oy!

But lame characters aren't the only thing this movie has. Oh no, there are lots of other faults on display here. The effects are cheesy. The situations are never resolved all that cleverly, or in a way that distinguishes this movie from any Direct-to-Video piece of crap. The dialogue is only sporadically horrible. But when it is, oh brother, is it ever. I can't walk through the aisles at the video store and see this movie without thinking of the line "You ate my Bird" and breaking into gales of mad laughter.

But this movie isn't entirely awful. Despite itself, there are some genuine surprises along the way and one or two moments generate tension despite themselves. And at least the movie knows that it's a B-movie and nothing more, but it doesn't have quite as much fun with this knowledge as movies like "Warlock" or "Tremors" have. And it does have a scene in which a very attractive British girl strips down to her skivvies to avoid being eaten (I don't exactly know how that works, but hey, she's almost naked, so who cares?) so I have to acknowledge that at the very least. This movie doesn't pretend to be a great movie. It just aspires to the level of dumb fun. Think of it this way: sometimes you are in the mood for a lobster bisque or caviar.... and sometimes you just want a Twinkie. Well, folks, this is one stale Twinkie.

But still: if you want dumb fun you could do a lot better. If you want a B-movie that actually excels to the level of greatness, you could check out "Tremors" and make yourself very happy. And if you want to see a movie about shark attacks, well.... Renny Harlin or Steven Spielberg? Who do you trust?