Deep Blue Sea
Release year: 1999
Director: Renny Harlin
Screenwriter: Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers, Wayne Powers
Starring: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burows, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Stellan Skarsgård, Jacqueline McKenzie, Michael Rapaport, Aida Turturro
Business man Russell Franklin (Jackson) visits the sea-based facility he has funded to see their progress in curing Alzheimer and decide whether to close it or continue paying for it. But he chose an unfortunate day to visit as the sharks with enhanced intelligence used for the research chose just this stormy day to fight back.
Finnish director Harlin had his hey day in the 1990s starting with Die Hard 2 (1990) continuing with Cliffhanger (1993) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) before ending with this action-packed shark flick. When watching an action movie directed by Harlin, one can expect action fueled scenes and at least one shot of a vodka bottle of Finnish brand. Both facts are also accurate for this sea-based thriller which brings both giant sharks as well as claustrophobic underwater scenes. Jane (The Mist, 2007) and Burrows (The Bank Job, 2008) are strong leads, though the characters are switched when considering female/male stereotypes, but they must see them beaten by support roles by the charismatic Jackson (Pulp Fiction, 1994) and especially LL Cool J (Any Given Sunday, 1999), whose charming chef is the best part of the movie. A nice mixture of bad-ass sharks and a facility playing Titanic makes this a thrilling movie experience good enough to let you, almost, forgive and forget the horrible end credits song.
Duncan Kennedy was inspired to write the script after he witnessed a “horrific” shark attack on a beach near his home, “there was really not much left of him”, the tragedy contributed to a recurring nightmare of him “being in a passageway with sharks that could read his mind”.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video