"So here's the riddle. What does an eight thousand pound mako shark with a brain the size of a flat head V8 engine and no natural predators think about?"Deep Blue Sea
is a shark horror film from 1999, directed by Renny Harlin.
Dr. Susan McCallister, her team of scientists, and shark wrangler Carter Blake are researching a cure for Alzheimer's in a refurbished WWII Submarine refueling platform, using sharks to grow a protein that reactivates dead human neurons. However, the sharks' brains were too small, and the amounts of protein harvested were so small as to make the efforts unviable, so they use genetic engineering to give them larger brains. They kept the sharks corralled in an unbreakable mesh cage
submerged in the ocean along with their labs. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
After one of the sharks escapes and causes a PR fiasco, Russell Franklin, the CEO of the company funding their research, comes in to inspect their progress and see if they should be funded or shut down. Of course
something Goes Horribly Wrong
Not to be confused with The Deep Blue Sea
, which is a 2011 romantic drama film.
The movie has the following tropes.
- Black Dude Dies First: There are actually two black dudes; one a heroic leader figure played by Samuel L. Jackson and the other a secondary character separated from the main group with his own B-plot played by rapper LL Cool James. Guess which dies first? Subverted. Preacher even survives, thanks to the below-mentioned Focus Group Ending, and Jackson's character dies right in the middle of his Rousing Speech.
- Cat Scare: With a model shark floating in one of flooded corridors.
- Darkness Equals Death: Susan goes into her dark, half-submerged room for files. A shark sneaks in and tries to kill her.
- Darkest Hour: So, we've slowly whittled the cast down to three people. Susan sacrifices herself to get the shark in range of the Harpoon Gun. Carter, who leapt into the water to save her, is now riding on the back of the shark as it swims toward its escape. Preacher takes his shot at the 40 foot shark... and pins Carter to the dorsal fin. Lampshaded. "A 40-foot shark and you hit me? Nice."
- Death by Irony: Subverted, as the character escapes with his life. Preacher hides from a shark in one of his ovens, when the shark's thrashing turns on the gas. He even lampshades this as he's making his escape.
- Death by Sex: With drunk teens no less. Subverted, though it did attract the escaped shark in the opening.
- Deconstruction: The film is fully aware it's a shark film, and subverts many tropes of the genre.
- The End... Or Is It?: Played with. At the end Preacher asks Carter if he was sure that there were only three sharks, and Carter says yes. Then he takes his feet out of the water just to be sure.
- Eye Poke: This is how Preacher survives being grabbed by one of the sharks. The behemoth is dragging him through the water in her huge jaws, and he grabs his cross necklace and starts to stab her with it. She lets him go when he damages her eye.
- Famous Last Words
"Come to Momma."
- Fanservice: Susan is being stalked through the flooded complex by a shark. She comes up with a plan to electrocute the shark, which requires an insulating sheet, which requires her to strip off her wetsuit.
- Fight To Survive: The story is about trying to survive and get out after the sharks are loosed.
- Focus Group Ending: This is why, contrary to genre expectations, Preacher survives, and Susan doesn't. All things considered, it worked out pretty well.
- For Science!: Subverted. The cast rails against Susan's experiments, but it was never "for science," just for her dead father. That pissed her off, and stated that she doesn't need to justify her actions.
- Gone Horribly Right: Their efforts to make the shark's brains bigger succeeded spectacularly... It helps that the intelligence was just a byproduct instead of the goal.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The shark's escape wasn't exactly as planned though.
- Idiot Ball: Passed around right before Janice's death. She falls into the water, and stays there crying for help. It's a little hard to believe that even in a state of frenzied panic and fear of impending death she'd forget that there is a perfectly fine ladder about eight feet away from her. And Carter, rather than urge her to swim over to him, instead instructs her to just stay afloat right where the shark can most easily grab her, while taking the time to climb onto the broken ladder section so he can stage a Take My Hand scene by fishing her out of the water. Predictably, he fails.
- Ignored Expert: Jake Carter tries to convince the "good" doctor that her plan is spectacularly ill-conceived. Obviousness levels approaching Only Sane Man territory.
- I Just Want To Be Free: Despite all the deaths they caused the shark's main goal originally was simply to escape from the aquarium and return to the sea, their home. Carter lampshades this later.
- Non-Malicious Monster: The sharks do not what they do For the Evulz or stuff. They're trying to return in their habitat and to be finally free.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Susan says this almost word for word while trying to tend to the injured Dr. Whitlock.
- Ominous Crack: Shortly after the extraction of brain tissue from one of the genetically engineered mako sharks, Dr. Whitlock is attacked by the supposedly sedated animal and has to be rushed to the surface. During the chaos that ensues, Whitlock's stretcher is dropped into the water by the crashing rescue helicopter and one of the sharks throws it against the laboratory's observation window, resulting in an Ominous Crack.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The makos don't seem to just be trying to set themselves free. There are just some little things they do that indicate they're trying to intimidate and frighten the humans, such as the aforementioned Ominous Crack.
- Rousing Speech: Samuel L. Jackson delivers an amazing subversion, when he's gobbled up by the biggest mako just as he's shifting from chastisements to inspirational.
[after killing all the sharks]
[ending credits theme kicks in]