By Shark Info / Shark Foundation
At the end of October 1999 the new shark film "Deep Blue Sea" will makes its debut
in Swiss movie theaters. With this film Warner Brothers has again managed to add a new sad
chapter to the story of the "White Shark" (original film title:
"Jaws"), and this time they pulled out all psychological stops. Not only
overpowering sharks but also certain facets of molecular biology, much in disrepute and for
lay people difficult to understand, must take the blame for this horror trip. This time, the
badly created computer-animated actors are not white people but mako sharks (Isurus
???). But this is unimportant, the main purpose is to fill move cash registers.
This film represents a typical mixture of science fiction, pseudoscientific half-truths and,
of course, the most "enticing" aspect, some extremely brutal scenes. In American
terms the film is "politically correct", containing no sex but much violence and
brutality. Who in Hollywood was ever really interested to learn that even the author of the
original book "Jaws", Peter Benchley, distanced himself from the movie script,
after his attention was drawn to the devastating international consequences which the
filming of his book would have on sharks.
Dr. Susan McAlester used molecular biological techniques to alter
the genes of three mako sharks in order to allow extraction of a wonder drug for treating
Alzheimer disease (which by chance her father was suffering from) from their brains. Her
gene manipulations were obviously marked by lack of ethics and her colleagues on Aquatica, a
research lab located in the middle of the ocean, let her feel this. Added to all this, Dr.
McAlester had problems with her sponsors who wanted to see some results from her research
and who presented her with an ultimatum. As it was bound to happen, she was trying to
extract the "wonder drug from the shark's brain, as the shark escapes, tries to free
the other sharks and in the process severely damages Aquatica. It would not be a Hollywood
production if these events did not coincide with a severe storm which envelopes the sinking
Aquatica lab. And that's when it starts. Humans are confronted with the "monster"
makos generated by researchers. It is a hard fight since the gene manipulations produced
bigger, stronger and more intelligent sharks than the normal unmanipulated makos. The hunt
results in very brutal scenes in which the sharks, as usual, attack humans, resulting in the
death of most actors. Remarkably, the director, Renny Harlin, must have had a relaxed
fantasy at times since some scenes remind one strongly of "Jaws 1" and
Of course, the world returns to normalcy in the end, and
the ruthless female scientist
sacrifices herself. All the sharks are dead and at least two humans survive.
So what are we supposed to learn from all this? That humans are more
sharks, even if the latter underwent gene manipulations? Or that today it is possible to
sell any story with sufficient advertising?
Not only is the script weak, the shark animations are very disappointing and in no way
comparable to the dinosaurs created for "Jurassic Park". The animated sharks could
never swim except in their own animated ocean. For example, to move forward they use their
tails rather than their entire body like a real shark would do. Quite obviously, the
animators concentrated their efforts on scenes in which the sharks bite body parts to pieces
rather than on observing natural shark motions.
As concerns the live actors, the movie aims more at shocking the viewer. The directors of
the original "Jaws" movies at least made efforts to present not only the shark but
also the actors true to life. In "Deep Blue Sea", this facet is not convincing,
despite the use of well-known actors such as Samuel L. Jackson. The characters are tepid and
their performance not very convincing.
We recommend that you refrain from seeing this film in order to not support such moneymaking
schemes with shark horror tales. This decision should be made a lot easier in light of the
thin script lines and mediocre animations.
May be published only by indicating the source: Shark Info / Shark Info / Shark Foundation