Deep Blue Sea

Deep Blue Sea
Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Shark flick good for a lark

It has been called the feel-good story of the year by some: Ted Williams, a homeless man with an incredible voice recently went from rags to riches. A video of Williams cutting radio promos went viral, and soon he found himself with many offers for work, including one from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Then came the news that Williams had quite a rap sheet. Not only did he have a history of drug problems, but he had served time for theft and forgery. This just goes to show the Cleveland Cavaliers that it is very important to do background checks, and that you can’t replace Lebron James with just anyone off the streets.

Now called me old fashioned, but criminals like Mr. Williams don’t have any place in the realm of professional sports – except for on the field of competition. Only once you have thrown a 50-yard touchdown pass, or completed a 360 degree dunk have you earned the right to gun down a fellow strip club patron or drown some dogs.

So what does this all have to do with this week’s film? Well, the Cleveland Cavaliers are partially owned by a man named Gordon Gund, who also used to own the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. And this week’s film, Deep Blue Sea is about, you guessed it, sharks.

Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) is the head researcher at Aquatica, an underwater facility that houses a team trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Samuel L. Jackson portrays a representative from the corporation that is funding the research. He decides to visit the facility to see how things are going.

This proves to be a bad move, as things are not going very well at all. In a desperate attempt to hastily find a cure, Dr. McAlester has increased the brain size of several sharks, so that they can better harvest the tissue used for their Alzheimer’s cure.

The problem is, sharks with bigger brains are faster and more dangerous. This leads to the whole crew becoming endangered as not only are they surrounded by superintelligent sharks, but their research facility begins to sink. Think Titanic with less romance, and more arms being bitten off by sharks.

Deep Blue Sea has a lot going for it, including one of the greatest moments in motion picture history. As you can imagine, being hunted by hyper-intelligent and vicious sharks can be quite trying. Everyone starts bickering, but luckily Samuel L. Jackson’s character is there to bring everyone together. One thing Jackson does better than any other actor is giving motivational speeches. He did it in Pulp Fiction, he did it in Coach Carter, he even did it in Snakes on a Plane. Well in Deep Blue Sea, he gives a rousing pep talk that leads the crew to believe they are going to get out of this mess. Then as soon as he gets out his last word, a shark jumps out of nowhere and swallows him whole. This was fantastic. Just imagine if in Jerry Maguire, if immediately after Tom Cruise said to Renee Zellweger, “You complete me,” a shark broke down the front door and attacked him. That would rule, and this most certainly ruled.

You know what else rules? The fact that LL Cool J was in this film, playing the role of Preacher. No, Preacher is not the facility’s chaplain, rather he is the cook. I swear, LL Cool J has been in every movie that I have watched over the last 20 years. I think he may have even been in Schindler’s List. And I can see why producers keep hiring the man. He is a dynamo. Will Smith might grab all the headlines, but the truth is that Mr. Cool J is the one who is truly keeping it real.

Deep Blue Sea is a film that I have fallen in love with, hook, line and sinker. It baited me in with a compelling storyline, and terrific performances. If you are fishing for a good movie to watch, then cast your eyes on Deep Blue Sea.

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