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Customer Review

HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon 7 August 2004
About a half-hour into watching "Deep Blue Sea" I gave up on asking myself what the hell the people who made this movie were thinking. Then there is a scene where Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson), who once survived an avalanche, gives an inspiration speech to everybody still alive at that point in the movie. His words are punctuated in such a way that I knew we were not in Kansas any more and decided not to question anything that happened in the rest of the film. This proved to be a wise decision because what director Renny Harlin has created here is not so much a movie as an amusement park ride.
The explanation for what Harlin was thinking is provided on the special features, where it becomes clear the director wanted to make a movie where he could use modern animatronics and computer generated effects to show graphic shark attacks. The idea was to play with bigger and better toys than Steven Spielberg had when he made "Jaws." Of course, doing so sacrifices the cinematic artistry of Spielberg's film, but that is fine because Harlin is not playing in that ballpark.
There is a plot to the film. Scientist Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) has come up with a way of using the brain tissue of sharks to concoct a way of fighting Alzheimer's disease. The research is underwritten by Franklin's corporation at a giant deep-sea research station, where we have a shark wrangler (Thomas Jane), a cook who is a self-styled preacher (LL Cool J), and an assortment of entree items in the form of Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard, Aida Turturro, and Jacqueline McKenzie.
But all that matters is that McAlester is playing Dr. Frankenstein and in making the brains of these sharks bigger, she has also made them smarter. Her motives for doing so are quickly forgotten because these super smart sharks want to kill every human being in the station and that is what this movie is about. I bet you can guess who is actually going to survive the slaughter, but that does not detract from the enjoyment of the film either because the fun with "Deep Blue Sea" is enjoying, if that would be the proper world, the way in which the sharks put the bite on the humans.
So, if you know going into this movie that it is about a bunch of super intelligent mako sharks eating a bunch of human beings, then you can dismiss all of the scientific explanations and exposition as just prologue. You do not have to understand it and you can probably get away with even paying attention to it, because once the shark attacks begin that is all that is going to matter with this film. This is not the thinking person's shark attack film.
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