Sunday, October 08, 2006

Deep Blue Sea

I wrote this a while ago about the 1999 film with Samuel L Jackson

This film is confident enough to know that it doesn't really need a well-thought out exposition because it knows it can more than make up for it in the second act.

Essentially the film starts out, experts in a field I can't even remember, visiting some sort of scientific facility where they, for some purpose or another, genetically engineer sharks to make them smarter. Everyone who comes to this meeting, even Samuel L. Jackson who spouts off wise sayings as if he's preparing for his upcoming role as a Jedi knight in Star Wars, is pretty boring and underdeveloped. The only character who catches our attention is the resident cook, played by L.L. Cool J, who had the aura of being a little smarter than he lets off to be. Later, he is one of the people we root for most.

The exposition is a little bit sloppy and for the purpose of the audience's intelligence, it would have been nicer if the writer's had at least put in an effort to make a coherent story behind the action. Nevertheless, we're able to discern that these sharks are genetically engineered and that the beautiful but cold and humorless Dr. Susan McAllister, in the name of science, made the mistake of engineering these sharks beyond scientifically acceptable levels. Around the time, we learn this secret, the action gets under way and the sharks have escaped.

The struggle among the group of scientists to make it out of the complex alive is an incredibly terrifying ride, and we're desperately rooting for these people because the sight of seeing one of them eaten by a shark is pretty graphic (fair warning to people who have weak stomachs). Ultimately, and I won't say which ones, some make it out alive and some don't, which raises a curious case of lifeboat ethics (as in which ones deserved to survive and which ones didn't). The struggle of Dr. McAllister, was interesting too, as her genuine determination to cure diseases with the experiment that triggered this disaster, comes to turn into regret and more.

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