Classic Intel: Deep Blue Sea - TV Review

'If The Asylum, et al, stopped trying to produce quick bucks from ideas too stupid to even be successful schlock then maybe they could even end up making something like this.'

'Beneath this glassy surface a world of gliding monsters'. For those not versed in the many plus points of Deep Blue Sea, Renny Harlin's 1999 B-movie about a group of scientists and hangers on, besieged by super-sharks, it may be a surprise to hear that the script is one of the highlights. Duncan Kennedy, Donna Powers and Wayne Powers screenplay doesn't just have the normal mood-leavening jokes and one-liners, but also features real poetry at times, such as the moment Jacqueline McKenzie attempts to articulate that which the scientists face.

There are plenty of lessons here for the modern day collection of B-movies, apparently trying to chase similar levels of charm. Whilst the budget for Deep Blue Sea might have been some seventy-eight times that of Sharknado, that was some fourteen years ago. If The Asylum, et al, stopped trying to produce quick bucks from ideas too stupid to even be successful schlock then maybe they could even end up making something like this.

Harlin, apart from not messing up an already good script, does lots of things right here to help Deep Blue Sea along, including managing to turn Thomas Jane into a believable action hero and do something new with a wordy Samuel L. Jackson speech, something even Joss Whedon has struggled with recently. Deep Blue Sea moves snappily between set pieces and near-constant tension, as Harlin takes us along some claustrophobic corridor sequences, avoiding and calling to mind Jaws in well-judged and equal measure.

Eventually, of course, this is intended to be throwaway, and it is both a little derivative and occasionally mindless. The difference between films that are only those two things though and this, can be found everywhere, from the real quality of the creatures on offer, to the performances of even the most suspect of cast members (Saffron Burrows: genuine leading lady). It maintains its charm and visual quality even this far on from its release and the other creature features that you can throw that sort of acclaim at make up some of the very best blockbusters ever offered to us. It's not quite at that level, but this is fun stuff, and occasionally even more than that.




Deep Blue Sea was playing on ITV4.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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