Sharks Got Brains (Deep Blue Sea, 1999)
Scientists may have cracked the code for an Alzheimer’s cure. but they need to keep their funding. Rich business man and adventurer Russell Franklin needs convincing, so he is visiting their research facility. The facility is a floating fortress, with most of it being below water. The reason for this is that the research involves sharks.
It is the weekend, so it is a bare bones staff of scientists, a shark wrangler, an engineer and the cook. The shark wrangler, Carter, has a checkered past and this concerns Russell in the beginning. As a storm approaches, they try and prove their success with Russell. Russell (as well as Carter) is startled to see just how smart the sharks seem. When a tragic accident forces the team to try and medivac out a scientist, the storm interferes and gives the shark an open. In a freak series of events, the facility is heavily disabled.
The crew is forced to outwit the sharks and try to reach the top of the facility, which is sinking fast. Russell is stunned when Dr. McAlester confesses they broke laws regarding genetic research and have genetically altered the sharks’ brain structure, making them larger and smarter.
The cast of characters are pretty stock characters, I mean, Samuel L. Jackson’s Russell Franklin is the type of guy you expect him to be. Cause this is Sam Jackson. He is quietly intense, but also loud and bombastic. Carter (the Punisher’s Thomas Jane) is calm and smart, rarely rattled. Preacher (the cook) is kind of the stereotypical Black Movie Guy. Sarcastic attitude and brief comments about God (the character’s backstory includes being a failed pastor). But LL Cool J has fun with the role. At one point Preacher believes he may not make it and grabs a video camera to leave a legacy…it is not quite what you expect.
The sharks are a combination of digital and practical. The mechanical practical sharks actually look really good. The digital ones vary from scene to scene.
Easily one of Renny Harlin’s better films, Deep Blue Sea is a fun thrill ride of a film with a good cast.