Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Deep Blue Sea 2: Deeper, Bluer, Hungrier

Among fish, sharks are considered comparatively intelligent and sociable. However, bull sharks are such mean killing machines,even a touchy-feely shark conservationist like Misty Calhoun won’t go near them. So why would pharma billionaire Carl Durant make them his smart drug guinea pigs, like Bradley Cooper in Limitless? Maybe it has something to do with his reckless megalomania. Regardless, people are about to become fish food in Darin Scott’s direct-to-DVD sequel, Deep Blue Sea 2 (trailer here), which releases today.

It has been a while since the original Deep Blue Sea released in 1999, so you may have either forgotten it, or been faithfully pining for a sequel. In either case, you can feel free to dive into DBS2, because there are no returning characters. We just get another batch of smart sharks. As we know, sharks are Calhoun’s specialty. That is why Durant wants to recruit her for the project, even though her value-added seems minimal. At least she can tell just by looking Bella, the queen bee bull shark is mega-pregnant.

Of course, Calhoun is appalled by Durant’s scheme, as any rational person would be. Even his shark herder (or whatever) Trent Slater is pretty disgusted with his boss. Frankly, Durant was always arrogant, but he has become alarmingly erratic since he started dosing himself with the experimental cocktail. However, things really get ugly when the facility starts to flood—and Bella gives birth to a gaggle of piranha-like babies.

So yeah, killer sharks. Its definitely meathead stuff, but the execution is more competent than we would expect. Michael Beach is flamboyantly nutty as Durant and his motivating fear of an artificial intelligence-induced singularity is an interesting touch. Danielle Savre also makes Calhoun a pleasingly forceful protag. However, the rest of the ensemble bring little energy to their stock characters. Frankly, many of them look like they are just waiting around to get eaten.

Hopefully, The Meg will be better than this. However, as direct-to-DVD sequels go, this is much more watchable than most, but whether it is worth the nineteen-year wait is a question only you can answer for yourself. Probably decent hangover viewing material, Deep Blue Sea 2 releases today on DVD, exactly where it belongs.