As Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea continues to be eulogized as B-grade, feeding-frenzy excellence (now and forever), Darin Scott’s Deep Blue Sea 2 will be forgotten, ignored and seen only as malodorous sequel chum. How *dare* drug-doped supersharks be associated with such a nonsensically rudderless dive, as submerged survival “fun” is drained well before the dam breaks wide open. Restrained budgets are one thing, but a three-person writing team’s concocted solution around big-budget finback effects is a middle-finger to Harlin’s masterful underwater massacre (in comparison). Hell, even Shark Night 3D looks infallible next to this Open Water 3: Cage Dive of a franchise torpedo.
You know what – apologies. We’re going full-on spoilers for the rest of this review. Read at your own risk. Frustration is bubbling over at an aggressive rate that needs to be addresses through cathartic ranting. You’ve been warned, those who want a fresh (water) experience.
In this exact-f*#king-ripoff of Deep Blue Sea, Michael Beach plays a lunatic pharmaceutical company billionaire who’s using Bull sharks as test subjects. Why? Because Carl Durant (Beach) believes robots will eventually take over the world, so he’s hellbent on creating an intelligence enhancer that requires shark antibodies for optimal usage. In his mind, it’s the only way humanity can survive inevitable “Skynet” overtakings – keeping us one step ahead of the machines (no, for real, the doomsday subplot is a big deal). Of course nature cannot be tamed, and the likes of operations manager Trent Slater (Rob Mayes), species specialist Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre), tech guru Aaron Ellroy (Nathan Lynn) – plus some others – find themselves swimming/wading/floating on mattresses away from genetically enhanced sharks.
Wait, hold on. Let me correct myself because the five full-sized, mean-as-hell, so-smart-they-dig-under-electric-fences adult sharks *never enter the breached facility.* Instead, pack leader “Bella” births a swarm of piranha-like baby sharkies who float through Akheilos Complex like a flesh-snapping Pac-Man game. The mass of swirling runts are mostly represented by goddamn air bubbles in the cheapest, least fulfilling way – a few times CGI jumpers resemble those gummy shark candies (which, of course, make a screen cameo). AND WHY CAN WE HEAR THEM SQUAWKING BELOW THE SURFACE?! In other words, get ready to angrily curse out this bastard misrepresentation of the title “Deep Blue Sea.”
Where to even go from here? The entire film is a three-headed-beast that continues to tangle itself out of untamed stupidity. The more Durant talks about his technophobia and strikes epiphany “knowledge explosions” (chugs his prototype serum, then a blast of binary and elemental formulas flash on screen – for real), the worse his desire to kill everyone trapped inside Akheilos becomes. Not that characters need much help dying, except the ones who swim through open water only to find a curious lack of charging predators? Supporting Character #1 takes two flipper pumps into darkened seas and he’s tonight’s dinner – but Misty can out-freakin-swim a matured, angry pursuer?! By Atlantis, kill them all.
Deep Blue Sea 2 thinks it’s having fun. Splashing around in the kiddie pool, perhaps. Gruesome deaths layer on thick helpings of CGI gore (gross, but boo), Trent’s unfazed New Yorker machismo is C-level 80s hero and Aaron’s very existence proves that Scott’s screenwriters have *no* idea how genre tension works. “Sharks don’t like the taste of nerds!” NO. AARON SHOULDN’T BE ALIVE. AARON SHOULD BE SO F(#KING DEAD THAT THE ONLY THING LEFT ARE HIS BONES. For reference: Aaron’s dragged out of focus during a last-ditch swim to topside safety, disappears while Misty and Trent back-to-back flare gun Bella (or whatever shark) to death like a bad Charlie’s Angels episode, then Aaron pops back up with only a chewed sneaker – not horribly disfigured – after, like, literal minutes? The logic flaws in this film make Sharktopus Vs. Whalewolf look like it was written by Aaron Sorkin and Jacques Cousteau.
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Flooded hallways are marked with three distinct colored light filters – red, green and blue – because Scott didn’t think we’d be able to differentiate between metallic corridors that all look the same. Actually, good move. It’s the only intriguing set design concept given how close-ups on scuba scenes do a poor job hiding dive pools. Otherwise Durant’s facility is a less spacious rehash of the original film’s submersed laboratory maze – like, 90% connecting tubes as per each survivor’s exploration. Just a bunch of walkways for baby sharks to zip down, sucking people underwater in the process (red clouding follows). Ah, nothing like a cop-out shark flick (even below-surface camera work is murky and unappealing).
Do we enjoy watching Mike (Adrian Collins) curse out Bella’s clan right before an homage kill to Samuel L. Jackson’s submersible pool monologue demise? Barely. Will you laugh when Scott cuts to a shark floating outside Durant’s HQ window like she’s spying on the mad scientist? Yes, and you should. Is it possible for Misty’s wetsuit to ever be closed past her cleavage, or are full zippers on women’s waterwear only for show? Not sure, ask Trent when he’s *not posing with power tools so Misty can check out his biceps.* Sweet Poseidon’s trident, next you’ll tell me there’s an entirely pointless sequence of Misty changing out of soaked clothing so we can score some sweet lingerie ogling – oh wait, I’M TELLING YOU THAT BECAUSE IT HAPPENS.
Deep Blue Sea 2 has all the excitement of a lazy river float, except even alcohol won’t make this capsized disaster any more tolerable. All man-eater talk and face-nibbler action. Don’t be distracted by sloppy intestinal drips or limbless torsos – this is *not* the B-stunner Deep Blue Sea is. It’s not even in the same Olympic sized swimming pool. Darin Scott’s unfortunate attempt at summer fun is a floundering aquatic sequel, flopping around on land where it’s gasping for air or wishing for death. It’s not even worth a trophy to any passing fishermen. My, how utterly joyless this film experience and review has left me. One can only hope The Meg swallows up any lingering memories (aka nightmares).
Deep Blue Sea 2 is a wet, coarse fin slap to the face of its far superior, and infinitely more fun original shark thriller.