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August 13, 2018

Deep Blue Sea (1999) --- "They’re Bigger, Smarter, Faster, and Meaner. How Fast Can You Swim?"

Plot Summary
On an island research facility, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is harvesting the brain tissue of DNA-altered sharks as a possible cure for Alzheimer's disease. When the facility's backers send an executive (Samuel L. Jackson) to investigate the experiments, a routine procedure goes awry and a shark starts attacking the researchers. Now, with sharks outnumbering their human captors, McAlester and her team must figure out a way to stop them from escaping to the ocean and breeding. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Deep Blue Sea (1999) is an adventurous water-based monster film of the thrilling kind. The film takes place in an isolated ocean facility where a group of scientists are researching and doing testing on Great White sharks to find the cure for Alzheimer’s. Due to testing and biologically altering their brains natural state, the ocean’s most top predator becomes a more intelligent hunter, the likes of which humans have not witnessed before.
     While this is another film about sharks terrorizing humans and going on a killing spree, this is no Jaws rip-off. There are some differences between the two films. Like the film’s location, the characters, the hunting down of the sharks, and even the sharks themselves. Let me explain. First, the film is located on an isolated under-water facility in the middle of the ocean, rather than on a vacation beach during the summer. Second, the characters are primarily scientists and shark experts with a couple of average Joes thrown into the mix. Third, because the characters are stranded in a mostly under-water facility their main goal is getting to the surface and call for help, while the sharks hunt them down like prey. Finally, due to the scientists’ testing on the sharks’ brains making them bigger, the sharks have much more intelligent than Jaws and subsequently making them an even more dangerous predator.  
     Director Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2; 12 Rounds) and the writers – Duncan Kennedy (Bait), Donna Powers (The Italian Job), and Wayne Powers (The Italian Job) – have outdone themselves. Of course, Harlin is no Steven Spielberg and Deep Blue Sea is not a classic as Jaws but it still manages to stand on its own as a worthy thriller that forgoes much of the corniness of its kind. This film will either leave you on the edge of your seat or cause you to watch the whole movie from the gap between your fingers. The suspense starts to build from the opening scene and once all the necessary introductions are made the film takes off. At times there are moments when things tend to drag but considering how intense the rest of the film is, this drag gives your heart a chance to calm down before pounding all over again. The pace of the film is like an unpredictable roller-coaster filled with plenty of action, suspense, and realistic special effects to keep audiences entertained throughout.
     The cast performances are great. LL Cool J (NCIS LA; Host for Lip Sync Battle) was comical, Thomas Jane (The Mist; Punisher) was cool as the marine life expert who will obviously survive, Saffron Burrows (Troy; Mozart in the Jungle) pulls off the scientist whose research is her life, and Samuel L Jackson (Infinity War) gives an unforgettable speech. Aida Turturro (Sopranos), Jacqueline McKenzie (The Water Diviner), Stellan Skarsgard (Mamma Mia 1 & 2; Thor), and Michael Rapaport (Friends) were great.

     Overall, Deep Blue Sea (1999)  is a gory and thrilling shark film that can hold its own against Jaws. The story was suspenseful and leaves you on the edge of your seat throughout most of the film. The sharks are even scary than Jaws, mainly due to their advanced intelligence which has made them into an even deadly predator. The performances are satisfying with some moments of comedy to round them out. While this is not Jaws it is still a well-made thriller that manages to forgo most of its corniness, although some cannot be helped due to the time it was released. If you’re a fan of shark films like Bait and Jaws or you’re planning to see The Meg (2018) then I highly recommend this film.

"She may be the smartest animal on the planet, but she's still just an animal. Come to mama."
- Dr. Susan McCallister [after slashing her hand to use the blood as bait]

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  7.2 of 10 star
Worth Buying:  7.2 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
47 Meters Down (2017)
The Cave (2005)
Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)
Into the Blue (2005)
Into the Blue 2: The Reef (2009)
Into The Storm (2014)
Jaws (1975)
Jaws 2 (1978)
Jaws 3-D (1983)
Jaws 4: The Revenge (1987)
The Meg (2018)
Open Water (2004)
Piranha 3D (2010)
Poseidon (2006)
Sanctum (2011)
The Shallows (2016)
Shark Night 3D (2011)
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Splice (2010)

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