This isn't the greatest film ever, the special effects vary from impressive to dodgy at various points in the film, the plot feels like it has all been done before and seems to be a series of predictable events designed to add tension, scare, and build on the obligatory love interest.
The film is formulaic; you know that there's going to be an `expert in the field', a funny guy who will do something to save a life / lives, a romance between two people who initially seem to not get on - and all of these do happen.
The science seems flawed, and the super-sharks sometime seem a bit too super. There are cringe-worthy scenes which have been designed for teenage lads to say "cool" to (the cook is trapped in an oven, the shark turns the gas on, the cook is the epitome of cool and escapes just before he blows up the shark). People have compared this to Jaws (for the sharks obviously), The Towering Inferno (there's explosions and a feeling of claustrophobia), and Under Siege (there's a chubby cook who might save the day).
**BUT** to give merit where it's due, for all it's predictability, there are some fantastic surprise moments...
...It does break with convention in some pretty big ways. You presume that certain characters will live, but not all of those do! Samuel L Jackson is the big Hollywood name in this film and he ends up as fishfood pretty early on, in fact, his screen time is probably less than that of any other character! This is a master stroke and the viewer knows that anyone could end up dead at any time. This scene has helped give the film a cult status, as it is often referenced in other works, for example; Clerks - The Animated series