How could I not?
As many people might be able to tell you, for the longest time, DEEP BLUE SEA (1999) was my absolute favorite movie. What wasn’t to like? Scientists playing God, killer sharks, blood and guts, Saffron Burrows in her skivvies, leave me alone, I was just entering puberty, it was a recipe for a ton of fun. Made me a fan of Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, among others. It was a cool-ass movie and opened my eyes to the awesome possibility of horror-action. Yes, I know the genre has been tackled before, but this was my introductory movie to that hybrid genre, which is probably why I was so open to UNDERWORLD (2003). I know, not a shark movie, but a horror-action flick. I loved the original film and I still love it. Still to this day, it’s my favorite shark movie. Yes, I like this movie more than JAWS (1975). No, it’s not a better movie, but it’s more entertaining if all you wanted to see was people getting eaten by sharks.
Fast forward nearly twenty years later and we get a sequel and before I saw it… I was highly underwhelmed. It looked like a complete rehash of the original film. Not that I wasn’t expecting that, but some of this looked like a shot for shot remake. I’ve already watched it, so let’s get a move on.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Danielle Savre (8 episodes of HEROES [2006 – 2010]), Rob Mayes (THOR: RAGNAROK , 5 episodes of FREQUENCY [2016 – 2017], and the upcoming MAYBE I’M FINE ), Michael Beach (PATRIOTS DAY , and upcoming films AQUAMAN  and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK ), and Nathan Lynn (stuff I’ve never heard of and the upcoming THE KISSING BOOTH ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Darin Scott, known for stuff I’ve never heard of. Penning the screenplay, making for a red flag total of three writers are: Erik Patterson and Hans Rodionoff, both known for stuff I’ve never heard of, and Jessica Scott, known for 1 episode of STAR TREK: VOYAGER (1995 – 2001), 5 episodes of ANIMORPHS (1998 – 2000), and 2 episodes of GOOSEBUMPS (1995 – 1998). Composing the score is Sean Murray, known for Call of Duty video games BLACK OPS (2010) and WORLD AT WAR (2008). The cinematographer is Thomas L. Callaway, known for stuff I’ve never heard of. Finally, the editor is Michael Trent, known for JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS (2015).
This is my honest opinion of: DEEP BLUE SEA 2
Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre) is a shark conservationist, trying to educate the public that sharks are important part of the aquatic ecosystem and aren’t monsters to be feared like movies would portray. After a lecture she gives, she approached with a large sum of money to consult on a top secret experiment held in an underground facility run by billionaire and scientific genius Carl Durant (Michael Beach). Upon arrival, Misty sees firsthand what’s happening. Durant believes that computers will eventually make humans obsolete due to how rapid the technology is progressing, and instead wants to tap into the parts of the brain that humans haven’t been able to use to make sure that humans are always one step ahead of the game. Durant has been having breakthroughs and is testing his formulas on his five captive bull sharks, who have shown an exponential increase in their intelligence and begin to attack the facility and the humans inside.
Well… fuck you too, movie. Get ready for a bunch of comparisons, folks.
This is closer to a Piranha sequel than a Deep Blue Sea sequel, and do you want to know why? Because a majority of the deaths in this movie are cause by swarming baby bull sharks, not by the scarier giant sharks. Yeah, there’s swarming baby sharks in this movie. You wouldn’t know that by watching the trailer because then you would have seen right through this movie’s bullshit then and there. In a cast of eight human appetizers, three of them are survivors, which leaves the audience with only five deaths. Out of those five deaths, three of them are from baby sharks. In a movie about five killer bull sharks, only two of them get a kill count and most of them don’t even get a decent appearance. How ripped off do you feel?
Are the deaths even deliciously violent, you might ask? Not really. One dude got bisected, which was admittedly a fun visual… which is ruined when you realize that it was off screen and then see a pair of baby sharks drop out of his upper body, but it was fun while it lasted. One dude in the beginning has all of his arms and legs ripped off… again, all done off screen. Another dude gets his head decapitated, which, unless you’re making a war film, a CG’d head rip-off in a monster flick is about the most generic and boring death a person can receive. The draw for shark-sploitation is the gore and suffering of the victims. We want to see these people scream in blood-curdling murder. We want to see the over-the-top mutilations. Without that, it’s just… death. Nothing to get us cringing or visually stand out from the pack, which the previous film had plenty of. In fact, I might argue that the original had the most memorable death scenes in any shark movie ever, outside of JAWS.
They couldn’t even get the sharks right. No, I’m not referring to the sharks being bull sharks as opposed to the original’s mako sharks. No, the breed of shark doesn’t matter. Great white, black-tip reef, dwarf lanternshark (boy, wouldn’t that be a comedy waiting to happen), doesn’t matter. What does is how they’re portrayed. In the original, yes, the makos were genetically enhanced, became super smart, and all that good stuff, but… they still moved and acted like sharks. Their intelligence was subtle…ish. You saw them break windows, you know they’re herding the humans to where they want them to be, but they weren’t… these sharks. The sharks in this movie… they listen in on conversations. Yeah, literally, there’s a scene where folks are having a conversation and a shark is listening in on it. It’s only once, but… by God was it stupid. I know, the sharks are supposed to be bigger, meaner, and smarter, but this pushed my suspension of disbelief way too far.
While I won’t pretend that the original had Oscar-worthy performances or Shakespearean characters, there was effort in making them at least a little relatable. One guy is the practical survivalist, another was a well-meaning scientist who put far too many people in danger for her ambitions, and an awesome “you ate my bird” preacher. The rest are, admittedly, stock characters that you knew were going to die, but there was a sincerity to the performances given. The tone wasn’t really meant to be a B-movie horror film, despite the final product being so. You saw a woman who had nothing but the best intentions with helping humanity, but the result ended human lives, putting the value of her research in question. But in this flick, none of that sincerity exists. Durant is an over-the-top cartoonish nut-ball who was more annoying than anything else. Hell, even the protagonist, Misty, was an annoyance for most of the movie. Upon arrival to the facility, all she does is complain and criticize, making you think she might as well be one of the obvious future shark snacks. That, and have a gratuitous bra and panties scene, as well as putting on a wetsuit that she doesn’t fully zip up because the audience has to know that she has tits. Getting off track, for someone who really doesn’t want to be there, Misty certainly doesn’t seem like she’s contemplating leaving. Like… at all. Everyone else is just… bland or more annoying. The married couple is forgettable, the nerds are forgettable, even the supposed resident bad-asses are forgettable.
And this movie really wanted to convince audiences that this was a sequel to the 1999 film, because there are a ton of pointless callbacks to the original film that might as well be a shot for shot remake of it. You have the square pool that overflows the room, a sleeping shark that wakes up to kill someone, the very walls coming apart complete with bolts flying out of their sockets… I would have been more convinced if the shark deaths were from big sharks and more bisections.
Overall, I acknowledge that I shouldn’t be as critical with this movie as I am. The budget is probably microscopic compared to the original. I could forgive the cheapness of it if the movie was actually Deep Blue Sea and not a Piranha knock-off. I can’t claim to know what I would have wanted out of a sequel, but I know I didn’t want… this. If you can’t do a beloved, late-90s, B-movie justice, then don’t do it. I think fans of the original won’t enjoy this. What’s familiar is shoe-horned. What’s different barely makes it a shark movie. The characters are annoying and forgettable. Most of the violence is boring and uninspired. It’s a dull and unworthy sequel to the ’99 classic. You’ve seen how bad things can get, and how quick they can get that way. Well they just got a whole lot worse.
My honest rating for DEEP BLUE SEA 2: 2/5