Rating: Rated "R"
Shiver me timbers and batten down the hatches, we finally have a real summer thriller, and "Deep Blue Sea" is guaranteed to provide more chills in a jigger than gallons of "The Haunting," this weekís competitor in the blockbuster sweepstakes.
The plot is slight but just enough to pin a number of great (and near great) opportunities for the cast to fight a losing battle against the forces of nature. It all begins with what looks like a shark attack, and ends up with a mid-ocean research station bombarded not only by tropical storms, but also a helicopter crash, the possible loss of research funding into a cure for Alzheimer's disease, and finally three (count them) 8,000 pound mako sharks with murder on their minds and operating with a combined intelligence that exceeds that of Congress and many city councils.
Directed by Renny Harlin, "Deep Blue Sea" redeems him from the weight of some of his previous pot-boilers, this being a true salute to a finely-seasoned bouil-la-baisse, instead of a weak-kneed thriller dealing with ghosts, goblins, and things that try to go bump in the night.
Researchers are under the direction of Dr. McAlester (Saffron Burrows), and helped out by the head of the sponsoring corporation, one Russell Franklin (played by Samuel L. Jackson, who does a Janet Leigh bit from "Psycho" guaranteed to trip up anybody trying to outguess the scriptwriters). The two other performances of note are the staff cook, one "Preacher" Dudley (played by LL Cool J), who with his foul-mouthed parrot and his ability to crack-wise about food, adds a dash of levity to a very dour happening, and Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), a man with a past trying to redeem himself by being a "shark wrangler" with an attitude.
Before itís all over, you will see more water than you ever thought possible but you will hopefully enjoy the dunking!
The running time is 100 minutes and itís rated R--although I cannot fathom why.