“Shark attack” is a stupid sub genre. If you’re not Jaws (1), you can get lost as far as I’m concerned, and that includes piranhas too. Deep Blue Sea takes the shark attack concept and moves it to an underwater research station, so it’s basically Jaws meets The Abyss meets about 3000 gallons of awful.
The set-up is that some scientists are researching a cure for Alzheimer’s which they’re testing on sharks, because sharks are known for their physiological similarity to humans. Oh wait, no they’re not. Hmm, maybe they’re testing on sharks because it’s cheaper. No, that can’t be it because they’ve had to build a huge underwater research station. Maybe they’re testing on sharks because it got them sponsorship from a Hollywood film studio in exchange for the rights to use their story if they accidentally created super clever mutant sharks that kill everyone. Yeah, that must be it, because that’s exactly what ends up happening.
The tagline for this film is “Bigger. Smarter. Faster. Meaner.” which is ironic not because it sounds like it was written by Daft Punk, but because there’s nothing smart about this film at all. One of the most noticeably awful things is the dialogue, some quotes of which I will unfairly take out of context for you now:
“You wait your whole life for one moment, then one day it’s tomorrow.”
“Sharks are the oldest creatures on the planet, from a time when it was just flesh…and teeth.”
“Sharks do not swim backwards. They can’t.”
The quality of the dialogue is not aided by being said, in part, by Saffron Burrows, in one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. She has the inflated self-importance of Carol Thatcher with the emotion of a self-service checkout. Her character is responsible for engineering the super sharks. I wonder why she couldn’t genetically engineer herself a personality.
This is yet another film where the characters are inexplicably stupid. In one scene, a large underwater window has been cracked by a mega shark. Rather than immediately vacate the room, the crew stand around for at least 30 seconds watching the cracks spread. And these are supposed to be scientists. One guy even makes a video log when the room he’s in is about to be flooded at the bottom of the ocean. Maybe the sharks have got so clever they’ve built a waterproof VCR.
It’s incredible that this stuff is the product of three writers. How about some more quotes?
“You think water’s fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind of its own; like it killed the world once and got a taste for murder.”
“She screwed with the sharks. Now the sharks are screwing with us.” –Obviously not hammerheads then (ba-doom cha!)
LL Cool J– “Einstein’s theory of relativity: grab hold of a hot pan, a second seems like an hour. Put your hand on a hot woman an hour can seem like a second. It’s all relative.” Other bloke (seriously)– “I spend four years at Cal Tech and that’s the best physics explanation I’ve ever heard.” –Maybe he did a philosophy degree.
The other worst thing about this film is the CGI. Most of the stuff that isn’t CGI looks pretty good – they obviously put work into building (and flooding ) sets – but the CGI is just dreadful. It’s like they did it using only PowerPoint and Paint. James Cameron waited ten years for the technology to make Avatar. It looks like Deep Blue Sea‘s makers couldn’t even be bothered to download updates for Windows. Step one of making a shark attack film should really be “can we make the sharks look decent?” If the answer is no, you might want to get a bigger budget, better animators, or burn your script before anyone sees it and your career is over.
It’s the kind of film that makes you wonder what the atmosphere was like on set. Did they know they were making a bad film? If not were they all deaf and blind? How did they muster the enthusiasm to learn their lines? Did the director tell them the sharks were going to look good when it was finished?
If you’ve already seen it or never plan to see it watch this scene, which sums up everything I’ve said.
Deep Blue Sea? Do Not See.