“Sharks don’t eat nerds.”
Justin’s rating: Toothless in the end
Justin’s review: Sometimes you can easily figure out the quality level of a sequel by how many years after its predecessor that it arrived. A year or less later, and it was probably rushed to market and is going to be a mindless retread. Two to three years later, and it’s got as good a shot as any sequel to be good or bad. But when it’s like two decades later? That’s when you know a studio was going over what moderately successful movies it still had the rights to and could crank out a sequel that would get a few bucks based on name recognition. They’re not going to be good, they’re not going to include any of the original actors, and they’re going to make me feel like a sucker for renting it just because it had a number after its name.
And so we arrive at 2018’s Deep Blue Sea 2, the very tardy follow-up to 1999’s guilty pleasure shark attack movie. It’s the kind of movie that serves to hook in people who can’t resist completing movie series — like myself. It’s also the kind of movie that starts out with a scientist lecturing people about how sharks aren’t really all that dangerous and that the idea of sharks hunting people down is a “Hollywood myth” — and then proceeds to show very dangerous sharks hunting people. I guess it’s irony?
Deep Blue Sea 2 picks back up this concept of scientists making these apex predators even more intelligent and dangerous in the name of drug development. It’s still a bad idea, and we’re not even to the opening credits before a pack breaks out of its pen and enjoys some open-sea formation swimming and fisherman slaughtering. Our bold hero of the day is, I swear, Dr. Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre), a Heather Graham lookalike who acts as if she was yanked off the set of NCIS and given a few pages with sharky lingo before someone shouted “ACTION!”
Doctor Misty gets all worked up that the company is using bull sharks in its research, and she arrives for a visit to this shark facility shooting anger all over the place like a kid with a shotgun. She discovers that this pharma lab is not trying to cure cancer but rather make a super soldier serum. Yup, it’s that hoary old trope again. But, hear me out, it’s for a good cause, which is to help humanity once SKYNET revolts and tries to exterminate us all. I’m not even making a word of that up.
Of course, this doesn’t stop the pack of super-intelligent bull sharks from overhearing conversations about their impending demise (what?) and staging a breakout by tunneling and popping out murder babies all over the place. Cue the facility breaking down, sharks swimming through the corridors, and people and sharks taking turns dying.
This is not just a retread of the first film; it’s a retread with absolutely no skill, no acting talent, no budget, and no original ideas. Deep Blue Sea worked because it took an admittedly silly idea and did its best to deliver it with as much of a spirit of fun as it could. The sequel, on the other hand, woodenly plugs through the same plot points without any understanding of what made the first movie tick. And since this was obviously made on a shoestring, all the sharks you’re going to get are either (a) quick and terrible CGI, (b) air bubbles blowing through the water, or (c) a fin strapped to the back of a luckless intern.
And the acting, oh dear stars the acting. It’s so bad. I’m not entirely sure a director was in the room at the time of filming. Maybe he just hit “record” and took an Xbox break while the actors shrugged and spat out every clichéd line ever conceived of by SCRIPT-O-TRON. You don’t want any of them to live as they’re chased by squawking (yes, squawking) baby sharks.
I don’t need to waste any more words on this. Deep Blue Sea 2 has nothing redeeming about it, even if you are the greatest shark fan in the world. Skip it or else you’ll find yourself too mad to sleep tonight.
- These poachers are way too vocal and emotional over getting a single shark fin. Like, there are high-fives and selfies and everything.
- Smart sharks like to swim in V formations for some reason. Probably to show they’re smart.
- This is the weirdest opening song.
- They’re totally ripping off Jurassic Park by having a sinister company offer to fund a scientist’s research for several more years
- Sharks can tunnel? That’s not threatening, that’s just silly.
- Those are the worst newlywed actors ever. Also, they’re totally shark chow.
- Tossing your employee into a shark-infested pen to prove your safety measures is ten kinds of stupid
- Apparently sharks DO play jokes
- When you drink shark blood, molecule diagrams pop out all over the place
- Sharks eavesdropping!
- You know sharks so well you can tell when they’re preggers by looking at them?
- Shark mouth POV shot
- You taunt a shark, you get decapitated
- You better enjoy this one corridor, folks, because it’s all you’re going to get for a good portion of the movie
- Baby sharks love jumping out of the water like someone’s juggling them