||Deep Blue Sea
1999 - R - 105 Mins.
|Director: Renny Harlin|
|Producer: Akiva Goldsman|
|Written By: Duncan Kennedy and Donna Powers|
|Starring: Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, LL Cool J, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport |
|Review by: John Ulmer
I tried to think of the absolute wackiest idea for a review, so I came up with this: a Conversation with the Shark from "JAWS" (1975).
I pity the sharks
Not many people know this, but those sharks from the "JAWS" movies weren't real. Oh, no, they were actually animatronic machines--so when that Great White stood up on its tail in "Jaws the Revenge," it wasn't real--it was a machine. Who would have guessed it? From such authentic realism, the first thing I said after watching that movie was, "How'd they get the shark to do that?"
Yes, I was too foolish to realize that the animatronic puppet from "JAWS" was fake. I thought it was real. So, despite all my friends trying to persuade me from doing so, I laboriously researched hours on end, pouring over encyclopedias and the Internet, searching for ways to train a Great White Shark to stand on its dorsal fin and crash its stomach into a boat. Alas, there were no reasonable results--the closest I came to figuring out how they did it was this quote from Steven Spielberg: "I had nothing to do with this movie. Leave me alone."
This led me into the dangerous underworld of stalking--first I stalked the director, then the writers and producers, then the chairman of Universal and all people that worked within fifty miles of the filming for "Jaws the Revenge" (I was only slapped with fifteen restraining orders!). My answers will still...uh...unanswered.
And I was still haunted by the terrifying climactic showdown between Ellen Brody and the shark. I knew that my mind would not be clear unless I went straight to the person responsible for the stunt: the shark himself. (This is when I found out for the first time that an animatronic puppet did it, and I cursed the world for tricking me once again. I raised my fist high into the air and shouted, "It was fake! Curse them for making me believe otherwise!")
But one of these sharks from the original "JAWS" was indeed a real fish, used in some underwater shots during the movie, particularly that of the Great White attacking Hooper's cage and various other "faraway" shots. I got to have a brief chat with this shark as part of his promotion for his new movie, "Free Willy Goes to Hell: The Final Willy," in which Gordo the Shark makes a brief cameo appearance during a scene where Free Willy and his new friend are eaten alive by a pack of hungry sharks.
I was immediately taken aback by Gordo the Shark's giant size. He could barely fit in his water tank from where I sat fifty yards away with a jumbo-sized microphone equivalent to those giant Slurpee cups you get at 7-11. After the preliminary introductions we got straight to the point (note: I had to interpret most of the clicking and clacking noises he made in response to my questions, but I translated as best as I could, and I honestly believe that this is what he said):
JU: How have you found your career so far?
(I interpret this as shark talk for, "Very good.")
JU: How was it working with Steven Spielberg on "JAWS"?
(I interpret this as, "He was an egotistical maniac.")
JU: What did you think of Renny Harlin's major knock-off, "Deep Blue Sea"?
(I interpret this as, "It sucked big time.")
At this point in the interview, Gordo the Shark attempted to break free from his containment and devour the entire studio where the interview was being conducted. I managed to escape unscathed with only a few missing limbs.
With blood pouring everywhere and major veins torn open, I decided to use the remaining moments of my life to write a review of "Deep Blue Sea," one of the worst shark attack films of all time--perhaps even worse than "Shark Attack" itself (but that's pushing it).
Forget the stupid stereotypical characters, exceedingly ridiculous dialogue, dumb ideas and idiotic "in-joke" references to Renny's other films (how many references to "Die Hard 2" did I count? I wish I had written down all of them), this film just doesn't stay afloat. It's a big, boring B-movie with a large budget that still manages to have some of the worst special effects of all time. This stuff was done eight years prior in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." Take Gordo's advice and skip this one. It ain't too deep.