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Film

GateBuster: Deep Blue Sea

The Pariah Effect handed in this week’s review card but it was covered in bit e marks…

A crumpled sheet of transcription paper reads as follows:

Film? Are you kidding me? This isn’t a film.

This is an outrage.

Do you have any idea how…no, of course you don’t.

Okay, right. Deep Blue Sea. That one.

Let’s not pretend like this particular shlockfest isn’t based on me, okay? How many people do you know who have bred killer animals in a giant research station, huh? I swear, you let a few investors get eaten…

No, no, I can do this. Okay? I can do this. I didn’t get kicked out of veterinary school for Breaking the Barriers What Man Was Ne’er Meant to Break for nothing.

So, sharks.

Sharks are scary as hell, right? That’s what Jaws taught us all. Jaws was simple, though. A big freaking shark does big freaking shark things, and people are stupid. Every shark movie since then – including, let me be clear, the rest of the Jaws series – decided that they had to be more complex than that.

Deep Blue Sea kinda wants to be Jaws WITH SCIENCE, but it fails at that at every turn. The beginning, at least, is pretty neat. We get to meet our expert…shark…guy? Game warden? I don’t know, I have robots for that stuff. Thomas Jane. Yeah. He’s pretty cool, doing shark stuff, I guess. He’s there so that all the peons in the audience can have a average schmoe who DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO SPIT IN THE FACE OF GOD TO ADVANCE THE HUMAN RACE.

Sorry, sorry. Yes, I’ve taken my medicine today. Why?

Anyway, we eventually meet our whole crew, right? Samuel L. Jackson, who is barely Samuel L. Jackson at this point because he hasn’t signed a blood pact with a certain mouse, is our rich guy. LL Cool J, who is barely an actor at this point because the most notable thing he’s done so far is Toys, is our cook. Everyone else – yeah, I know, they got Stellan Skargard for this! – is pretty much expendable. Except for Saffron Burrows, who is our inexplicably British mad scientist who is genetically engineering sharks to make them smart so she can…cure Alzheimer’s.

Yeah.

You know, I don’t really want to talk shop here too much but she’s really breaking rule #1 of mad science. You don’t do experiments on things that can eat you. That’s why when I did MY experiments, I made sure to use ethically sourced guinea pigs.

I digress.

Deep Blue Sea is a like Alien and Jaws had a baby, but that baby got nothing but recessive genes from both parents. There’s exactly one (1) surprise in the whole film, and I’m not going to spoil it even though every other mention of the film ever made only brings up that part.

Chomp.

Anyway, what we really see is the exploration of a set that’s both far too expensive for this film and far too nice for any mad scientist to afford as it slowly fills with water and we try to find more and more ways to make sharks scary in very close quarters even when people are in knee-deep water.

This is one of those movies in which we also slowly whittle down the supporting cast, theoretically to help us raise the stakes but – one imagines – in reality probably because whoever wrote the script realized they put too many characters in the film in the first place.

What do we get?

Well, we get Michael Rappaport in one of his most tolerable roles, a scene in which a mad scientist has to strip down to her skivvies because the movie doesn’t seem to fully understand how electricity works, and jokes about a bird.

Did I mention the bird?

I hate that bird.

At the end of the day, I find Deep Blue Sea to be offensively bad as an idea, in execution, and in its portrayal of mad science. Neuter the sharks, people. That’s all you needed for this movie to grind to a halt.

I’m glad we were able to have this little chat, Doctor. I’m not sure that it will help you figure out how to stop my army of genetically enhanced guinea pigs, but it really helped to get this all off my chest. And speaking of getting things off of chests…

The transcription ends, with the remainder of the page covered in tiny bite marks…

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