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Deep Blue Sea

If you think you've seen Deep Blue Sea before, you may be right. The concept is original, yet everything else is very derivative of the whole monster movie genre. There is a monster. There is a group of people. Something happens and they are stuck. The monsters pick them off one by one. Need we go on? Part Jaws, part Alien, part Deep Rising, and part (insert monster movie title here); Deep Blue Sea does manage to tread water for a while, before sinking.

Aquatica is a research station that lies somewhere out on the ocean. There, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is experimenting on sharks. Although sharks age, they never display some human signs of aging, for example, a loss of eyesight. McAlester lost her father to Alzheimer's disease, and is hoping that a protein she found in the brain of sharks can help her cure the disease. The corporation funding the research sends Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) to Aquatica for the weekend after McAlester promises results (or her funding will be caught). There, Franklin meets some of the other researchers, Janice Higgins (Jaqueline McKenzie), Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard), Tom Scoggins (Michael Rapaport), shark wrangler Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), and cook (and preacher) Preacher (LL Cool J). Franklin and the researchers realize that genetic engineering was the reason behind McAlester's extraordinary results. She enlarged the sharks' brains, causing the unexpected consequence of heightened intelligence. Then, the sharks run amok. Oh, and of course there's a storm, cutting Aquatica off from anyone who can easily rescue them. And there are big explosions near the end.

The sharks are very menacing and life-like. Director Renny Harlin (Cutthroat Island) and producer Akiva Goldsman (some of the Batman movies) used a combination of real mako and computer generated sharks. Aquatica is a spectacular set in Baja Mexico, both high tech research facility and shabby series of tunnels (in the story, it was an old military base). Every special effect is spectacular. However, anytime someone begins speaking, you cringe. Skarsgard (Character, Ronin) is a complete waste in this movie. Many of the other characters seem straight out of a soap opera. Blake (complete with soap opera name) is the gruff, seldom spoken, handsome man who may have a dangerous past. The story also continuously hints at a traumatic past for Franklin, the revelation of which is a big disappointment. McAlester is the driven mad scientist, and Scoggins is the sarcastic engineer. Burrows (The Loss of Sexual Innocence, Wing Commander) again demonstrates that she isn't afraid to play different roles. LL Cool J is another movie, so that means he will die right? The only thing Warner Bros. will say is to expect the unexpected. Here, there is very little that is unexpected. Instead of working together, the group begins to bicker when the problems start to happen. The typical twists and turns accompanying a big summer action movie are taken before the conventional ending.
Haro Rates It: Okay
1 hour, 40 minutes, Rated R for graphic shark attacks and language.

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