Deep Blue Sea

Kicks ass... but left a lot unexplored
★★★
☆☆
Released: 
1999
Director: 
Renny Harlin
Starring: 
Saffron Burrows, Samuel Jackson, LL Cool JFoolish, puny humans breed genetically-engineered super-smart sharks, pissing said sharks off in the process.
The Setup: 
Foolish, puny humans breed genetically-engineered super-smart sharks, pissing said sharks off in the process.
Discussion: 

I was really looking forward to this movie almost more than any other movie that summer. I love sharks, I love movies with animals eating people, and I liked the idea that the sharks were smart. You know, there really isn’t much moviegoing fun to be had quite like watching sharks munch on people. Yay Sharks!

First off, let me say that I think the trailer for this movie was one of the best put-together trailers I had seen [and the style quickly became predominant]. The pick-up/slow-down pacing, the editing... It had a wonderful energy. Great job, whoever did that. I REALLY wanted to see the movie after that. Of course, sharks eating people: I am THERE, regardless.

The movie is good, but it left me thinking about all of the areas they could have explored that they didn't. I had hoped that they would do a little more about the sharks being smart. I had expected to see the sharks slowly swimming by the window and sinisterly looking in at the people, stuff like that... but no, we're basically just TOLD that the sharks are smart, and not really left with much else. I would have liked to have seen a lot more personality and presence given to the sharks. I would have liked to have seen the sharks have a whole master plan that they manipulate the people into carrying out for them. To be honest, I would have been perfectly happy if the film had ended with the last person being chomped, and the sharks gleefully leaping over the fence to freedom and going on to create a worldwide menace of super-smart steroid sharks, (and the film developed such a root-for-the-sharks idea that I think the audience would have been happy with that, too), but alas. They do succeed in giving the sense that these are large, wild animals, not just machines. But I wish they had a few more quirks and personality.

The movie succeeds best by subverting a lot of the conventions of these films, i.e. who lives, who dies, and in what order. I don't think I've ever really heard an audience cheer like they did at certain scenes in this movie. It’s too bad you can’t go with a big, rowdy audience. I'm actually a little sorry I didn't wait to see it on Friday night instead of going on opening Wednesday. The sharks also really just munch viciously on these people, devouring them whole in seconds… and that was what the audience really seemed to get into.

Other than that, not much else to say. I got what I came for, and I would give the movie an A-, but I had hoped for a little more development of the shark intelligence, and a sense that the humans are being manipulated by a smart animal.

And hello? Sequel? Hello?

Should you watch it: 

You goddam-betcha!