Deep Blue Sea (1999)


A Mother Fucking Shark Ate Me!

I have heard of this movie many times before, but never decided I should see it.  And that just proves that I have made smart decisions in life.  But, unlike watching The Mothman Prophecies, I enjoyed watching this movie, because I loves me some good joke fodder.  And this movie is one of the best examples of joke fodder movies I can think of.  So let’s dive right in (yeah, puns) to the Deep Blue Sea, written by Talley Griffith and directed by Renny Harlin, and it stars Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, mothafuckin Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Michael Rapaport, Jacqueline McKenzie, and Stellan Skarsgard.

Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) goes to a meeting to defend her controversial Alzheimer’s treatment to some white guy and Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson).  Her empassioned speech makes them give her another chance, but Franklin decides to go with her back to her underwater facility, Aquatica, to check on her progress.  Upon their arrival, he meets the “shark wrangler”, Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), and we find out that their Alzheimer’s tests are being conducted on sharks.  They pull one of the sharks up to test if it’s brain fluids and see if their testing is working, and that’s when shit goes down.  First, that mother fucker bites the arm off of Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard).  McAlester sets the shark free as Blake is about to shoot it and they get Whitlock up to the surface to be taken to safety by helicopter.  Nuh uh, Skarsgard.  You got on God’s bad side today!  The gear sticks on the thing that’s lifting him and he plummets into the water while tied to a gurney, so he’s surely drowning.  The crew descends back into the facility for the Real World confessional, where McAlester admits that the testing has made the sharks smarter, but I think they need a little proof.  And that’s when they see it: Whitlock, still strapped to the gurney, is being kept alive by the respirator they paramedics put him on.  How lucky for him!  Oh wait … nope.  He’s in the mouth of one of the sharks.  And he’s swimming with Whitlock face first towards the glass.  The team escapes the room and start making their way towards the surface.  Also, there’s a cool called Preacher who has a bird that hangs out with him (because ladies love cool James), and he also has to make his way to the surface and meet up with the team.

It should come as no surprise that this isn’t what I’d call a “good” movie.  What I will call it is a “fun” movie.  Though I’m confident it wasn’t intentional on the writer’s part, I laughed numerous times in this movie.  The premise itself is so absurd that I got a good laugh out of it.  Why do we decide to test things that will make something smarter on creatures we REALLY don’t want to be smarter?  Why not sloths or penguins?  Oh no!  We go with apes and sharks.  At least the Planet of the Apes makes sense because apes are the closest species to man.  Making smarter sharks makes not sense on so many levels.  And these sharks were so ridiculously intelligent too!  That and lucky.  These sharks go to places no other shark would try because every corridor in the movie had just enough water for them to make their ways comfortably through the halls, but also enough that the humans would feel comfortable walking into the hallways.  When one shark had LL Cool J trapped in a stove, it’s random thrashing actually turned on the stove.  Yeah, ’cause THAT’s likely!  Just about as likely that his Zippo would still ignite after soaking in his pocket underwater for so long.  And ::SPOILER:: it turns out the sharks planned the whole thing to gain their freedom.  Are you shitting me?!  You planned to smash Stellan Skarsgard’s face into a glass window to force the crew to release a certain series of doors that would flood and collapse a certain side of the facility and allow you to jump the fence?  Hans Gruber’s plan’s weren’t as well thought out!  It’s also never really explained why God hates the shit right out of Stellan Skarsgard.  I half thought about checking the earlier parts of the movie again to see if there was some point where Skarsgard was pissing on the grave of an Indian or setting crosses on fire.  I did find it interesting that the movie went for a surprise at the end.  ::SPOILER:: LL Cool J and Thomas Jane are the only survivors of the movie.  I was pretty shocked when Saffron Burrows got killed because she was a quasi-love interest and they never kill the girl.  If you have two girls, you kill one, but the other lives, right?  Not Deep Blue Sea.  The problem with that is: I don’t want surprise sadness out of my big dumb action movie!  Big dumb action movies are allowed to give the audience the obvious ending.

The performances were all pretty flimsy.  Thomas Jane plays a pretty obvious hero type, but does it well enough, even though I’m pretty sure the explosion that kills the final shark would’ve created shock waves that would’ve killed him too.  I think Mythbusters taught me that.  Saffron Burrows plays a pretty obvious scientist-who’s-obsessed-with-her-work type.  At least there was a part that made a pretty flimsy excuse to get her into her underwear, where she had to use her scuba suit to stand on in order to ground herself as she electrocuted a shark.  But she’s really skinny and not that appealing, so that didn’t do much.  Plus, it was kind of out of no where and not really necessary to the movie, especially since the shoes she was wearing appeared to be rubber.  Also, at the end, to draw the shark closer to Thomas Jane so he could kill it, she cuts her hand and jumps into the water.  They smell blood; everyone knows that!  JUST PUT YOUR HAND IN!  I guess you got what was coming to you.  Samuel L. Jackson is usually a pleasure to watch in any role, but he was strangely awkward with everyone in this movie.  I was caught way off guard when he died, though.  THEY ATE HIM!  A MOTHERFUCKING SHARK ATE HIM!  LL Cool J can act; I’ve seen him do it before.  So, if you watch this movie before you see him do something better, keep that in mind.  He won’t convince you here.  Plus, he’s really annoying with all his quasi-religious mumbo jumbo he keeps spouting.  I’ve got nothing against religion, but he would say contradictory things along the lines of “Dear Jesus, help me to survive this situation … and KILL THE SHIT OUT OF THAT MOTHERFUCKIN SHARK!”  You shouldn’t say these things to Jesus.  Michael Rapaport’s character made me think he was the love child of Ben Affleck and Justin Bartha’s characters from Gigli.  Kind of Italian, kind of retarded.  Jacqueline McKenzie was the character you need in any of these kind of movies of the one that starts going crazy and losing their shit.  But her death made me laugh the most because she, of course, gets killed by a shark.  But when she rises out of the water in the shark’s mouth, she’s sitting on it in a way where she had a leg on either side of it’s mouth and her crotch inside it’s mouth, which made me think dirty things.  Stellan Skarsgard was, by far, the greatest actor in this movie and, quite possibly, in the world.  Actually, I think he’s a great actor and all, but I felt like I need to amp up the props because this movie crapped in his mouth.  Save for (arguably) Samuel L. Jackson, Skarsgard has blown everyone in this movie out of the water since this movie with his appearances in Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor, and soon to be the Avengers.  Also, I just wanted to mention that I also thought it was funny that, in the first five minutes of the movie – when some kids are partying on a boat and are later attacked by one of the sharks – one of them proclaims “We’re havin’ a party, man!”  I’ve been to a few parties in my day and never once has someone felt the need to declare that fact for the rest of our edification.

This is not a good movie by a long shot, but it is a perfect joke fodder type of movie.  It’s completely ridiculous, but fun to watch.  Most of the performances are mediocre, but they’re elevated by the greatness of Stellan Skarsgard.  It’s pretty to look at, but even prettier to laugh at.  I will actually say that you SHOULD watch this movie if you have Netflix streaming.  It won’t cost you anything you’re not already paying and you can’t help but laugh at this thing.  I’ll give Deep Blue Sea “What you’ve done is taken God’s oldest killing machine and given it will and desire” out of “There’s doctor Jim Whitlock, the most brilliant man ever!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

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