Deep Blue Sea

on July 28, 1999 by Jon Alon Walz
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A scientist with the body of a supermodel concludes that there is no better time to conduct her pivotal shark-brain research than during the savage hurricane that has suddenly struck her secluded, multi-million dollar underwater lab. So begins director Renny Harlin's laughably horrible action thriller "Deep Blue Sea."
   With the deep-pocketed pharmaceutical company that is financing this operation breathing down her neck for results, Dr. Susan McAlester ("Wing Commander's" Saffron Burrows) is forced to allow a cynical pharmaceutical executive (Samuel L. Jackson) to oversee her experiments. McAlister has spent her career genetically engineering Mako sharks to be bigger, stronger, and have brains five times larger than your everyday Mako. After she harvests enough brain juice from a ready specimen to impress the company honcho, forces of nature (hurricane) and non-nature (megasharks) combine for tidal terror.
   As buildings flood and sharks escape and team up, our brilliant doctor has the sudden epiphany that if you make a shark's brain five times bigger, it will be five times smarter and might have the ability to plan a full attack against man. Duh.
   As "Deep Blue Sea" is certainly not a comedy, it is very hard to figure out why so many tense, dramatic scenes are punctuated with bad comic lines while the more outlandish, goofy stunts and disaster sequences are intended to be serious and emotional. Harlin, in telling a standard tale of morality and conflict, turns in a plotless, empty picture that dissolves into an emotionless videogame. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Saffron Burrows, Stellan Skarsgard and LL Cool J. Directed by Renny Harlin. Written by Duncan Kennedy, Donna Riche and Alan Riche. Produced by Akiva Goldsman, Tony Ludwig and Alan Riche. A Warner Bros. release. Action/Thriller. Rated R for graphic shark attacks, and for language.. Running time: 110 min
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