Deep Blue Sea
I have been watching movies for almost forty years now and very few have surprised me to the point of being literally thrown back in my seat. Deep Blue Sea has a scene that did exactly that! This movie combines the best of several movies and provides a twist or two that makes it a unique experience. The story is about a researcher that is about to have her experiments shut down do to a highly publicized accident. She makes a final plea to the owner of the company and begs for a weekend to prove her work. The owner goes with the scientist to the ocean-based lab to see for himself. The research is to take a protein from the brain of shark and use it to regenerate damaged brain tissue like that found in Alzheimers disease. To get more of the protein the scientist made the sharks brains five times larger. One side effect, the sharks became very smart. What ensues is a roller coaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The cast for this thriller is mostly second string with the notable exception of Samuel L. Jackson as the rich owner of the company. While most of us have seen Jackson in roles where he plays a tough, here his toughness is corporate and he wears it very well. The main scientist is Saffron Burrows. Her previous roles were mostly independents but she handles this action role with believability. One of my personal favorites in the movie is the second female scientist played by Jacqueline McKenzie. I first saw Ms McKenzie is a great little indy called Under the Lighthouse Dancing. She has a lot of talent and it shows even in the smaller role she has in this film. Next there is another addition to the recent trend of rappers in movies, LL Cool J as Preacher, the compounds cook and owner of a foul mouth parrot. His performance is far above others of his musical genre and provides not only some much needed comic relief but also he gets to be the focus of some pretty well played action sequences. Thomas Jane plays the shark wrangler and male lead. He previous experience is smaller roles in some bigger movies like Thin Red Line. He handles the role is a flair the ladies will really like.
The director of this film is Renny Harlin. Mister Harlin is an old hand at action ficks and perhaps this is one reason such an unseasoned cast does so well in the movie. His previous films include Die Hard 2, the forth Elm Street movie, Cliffhanger and two well known bombs, Cutthroat Island and Ford Fairlane. He keeps the pace moving in this film never letting you catch your breath once the action really starts. He uses a lot of digital effects and except for how the bodies being eaten by the sharks look (obvious dummies) the rest of the effects are well done. Sure he uses the old favorite, the sharks eye view underwater but I think Speilberg would be happy to see his technique used in this film.
The movie is the type that will impress your friends with your new home theater. Surround sound comes out well with explosions, bad weather and floods, all of, which are present here in ample amounts. The picture is crisp and clear with only a slight pause during the layer switch. The extras are better than normal, up to special edition standards. They include deleted scenes, commentaries by Jackson and Harlin and DVD-ROM access. This film is a combination of Jaws, the Deep and Alien all rolled up into one.