Deep Blue Sea Trilogy
Creature features are admittedly my thing and I also BLOODY LOVE SHARKS. While Jaws is without doubt a crossover/breakout of that subgenre, let’s face it, the chasm between good and bad there is greater than that between the mariana trench’s sphincter and a gnat’s cock on Everest. It’s a glorious gnat’s cock, for the purposes of this metaphor, by the way.
I very much enjoyed Deep Blue Sea at the cinema, even devoid of second base as that trip was, and have seen it countless times since. What I have never done is watched either of its two sequels, mainly because I was certain they’d be awful. I’ve been burned before- the Lake Placid follow ups are cheap and pretty motherfucking far from OK. Being an altruistic film fan, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Deep Blue Sea trilogy and watch them all and review said experience for you.
These are all spoiler free reviews as the films are all on the same theme/premise, not more stories with the same characters (or sharks).
A scientist experiments a clinical cure for Alzheimer’s Disease on sharks at what is essentially a Bond Villain lair deep out at (blue) sea. Sharks inherit intelligence greater than scaffolders and Labradors and like scaffolders and Labradors start trashing the place and eating people. There’s your premise.
The first Deep Blue Sea screams cheesy but with a decent budget, and everybody involved knew what it was meant to be. It has about an A-lIst a cast as a film of its sort had any right to attract. The lighting is very Hollywood, it’s all very Hollywood and all very knowingly shit. Shit in a good way, if you like creature features, sharks and Samuel L. Jackson.
This is creative sharky cinema with inventivness, and Deep Blue Sea has big budget action. For a film nearing twenty five years old, Deep Blue Sea’s CGI has held up well and I was keen to see how the subsequent films compare.
Although I’ve seen Deep Blue Sea loads before it is still a
fin fun 7/10, and I strongly suspect the highest score I’ll end up awarding, having never seen the following films.
My hopes and fears for Deep Blue Sea 2 at the end were that it somehow isn’t shit. I set a low bar.
Deep Blue Sea 2 has a similar set up and almost uncanny cast structure (hot scientist lady, older rich black guy, nerd, hunk, comic relief wisecracker) to its older sibling. There's an almost identical plot, too; genetically altered sharks are experimented on far enough out at sea that escape is futile when it all goes tits up. Wouldn’t you know it, it even looks like almost exactly the same setting and sets.
It’s almost as if somebody just remade the first film on a tenth of the budget, which, umm…
The main shark in Deep Blue Sea is called Bella, which is the name of one of the megalodons in Steve Alten’s excellent Meg series of novels (highly recommended by the way). These are bull sharks, in real life bull sharks look harder than makos, which feature in Deep Blue Sea. You don’t see a lot of the actual sharks though. I suspect there’s a budgetary reason for that but as Jaws showed, you don’t need to see the fuckers every two minutes for them to be scary. The fear is in not knowing where they are.
Wow, a new idea! (baby sharks, doop doop) and you know what, there was one hell of a respectably entertaining and original shark kill, which is basically all I had hope for from Deep Blue Sea 2, given its 3.4 IMDb rating. The CGI isn’t the worst, it’s certainly better than most straight to DVD flicks, but to point out the bleeding obvious, what did you fucking expect? Also, it’s better than Sharknado and Megashark vs Crocosaurus, but that’s like saying wanking your dog to orgasm is better than having your hand cut off.
For what I can only assume was, kindly, a modest budget, Deep Blue Sea 2 is not as good as the original big budget effort but similarly far from as bad as I expected. Scores a whopping 4/10 for the smallest bit of originality. Loses six points for a whopping lack of it. If you like this kind of thing it isn’t totally worthless.
After a better than expected experience with the first sequel my hopes and fears for Deep Blue Sea 3 were that it wouldn’t continue the accepted downward trajectory of follow on films. Better than 4/10? Easy, surely.
The opening shot of Deep Blue Sea 3 is great but it’s then followed by titles which look like a schoolkid designed them. Not a very able schoolkid, either, maybe one who’s connected to a producer but talentless. Anyway, minor gripe, but it made my notes.
I like the set up, I like that this time the featured oceanic domicile is a Waterwold-esq shanty town rather than Blue Peter’s Tracy Island made out of toilet rolls like in Deep Blue Sea 2. Not only is it different to the sponsored science labs of the first two films, there’s more people living on it, so both a more diverse cast structure and MORE HUMAN-CHUM FOR THE SHARKS.
The acting is noticeably better than 2 and by raising the stakes and the scale, the third film, arguably (definitely) does what the second should have. I appreciate this may have been born more of necessity than any artistic desire. I was actually enjoying Deep Blu Sea by the end and I recommend you see it.
At times mainstream exciting (not just for genre fans), Deep Blue Sea 3 offers a lot more in scale than the overrated The Shallows and while somewhat formulaic is a lot of fun along the way. 6/10
If I’d had to predict the overall score for the Deep Blue Sea trilogy before watching them, I don’t think it would have been as high as 17/30, maybe more for the first but diminishing returns afterwards. I’ll watch all of these films again because sharks.