Deep Blue Sea gets a Deep Blue A+, a gold star, and gets to skip a grade.
This movie is everything Titanic should’ve been, but wasn’t. Screenwriters Wayne and Powers and Duncan Kennedy and director Renny Harlin have eschewed the silly love stories, clog dancing, and sermonizing about the evils of being rich and the beatification of being poor in favor of non-stop, heart-pounding, pulse-racing, nail-biting action.
Deep Blue Sea is ninety minutes of several thousand tons of water chasing researchers, deep sea divers, maintenance men, company presidents and Bible-thumping cooks around a subsurface science station while genetically-engineered superintelligent man-eating Mako sharks gobble each character up one-by-one.
Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) has some issues with Alzheimer’s disease, and she and Dr. Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard) defy an international genetics accord in an attempt to mine degenerative brain disease antidotes from shark brains. Of course, their plan goes horribly wrong.
Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson), a pharmaceutical exec and some kind of an avalanche survivor, travels to the secret lab to investigate. He meets Janet Winters, a marine biologist in love with Whitlock and Carter Blake, an ex-con trying to turn over a new leaf as a shark wrangler, who seems to only get along with trustworthy maintenance man Scoggins (Michael Rappaport) and Preacher, the cook (LL Cool J).
All of this backstory nonsense is given as light a treatment in the film as I did here. And it’s a good thing too, because who really cares? Almost immediately, a tropical storm sweeps in, the sharks get agitated and the characters we never got to know get eaten.