RogerBW's Blog

Deep Blue Sea 2 27 May 2019

2018 SF-horror, dir. Darin Scott, Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes: IMDb / allmovie. Another offshore research station, another giant shark. Must be Thursday.

There's nobody here who was involved in the original, of course. This is a much lower budget, direct to video production; it exists presumably because the sequel rights were cheap (often a compelling artistic motivation).

These sharks are pack hunters. But no sooner do we see the demise of the crew of an "Illegal Shark Finning Vessel" than we shift to an opening credits sequence featuring our heroine (or presumably her stunt double Malin Kirjonen) "swimming with sharks" who never actually share the shot with her; with the theme song as well, it all feels a bit James Bond in inspiration, only, you know, with no vision or originality.

Many of the beats are repeated from the first film, only a bit worse - here's the bit where the newcomer is worried because someone's in the water with the sharks. (But this time it's also an excuse for the heroine's – Danielle Savre, who acts rather better than this in Station 19 – underwear scene.) Here's the bit where a tranquilised shark wakes up early. Magic Shark Juice still provokes neural regeneration, but now it's a drug. That you drink. Which makes you smarter. (With a side note of "we don't use all of our brains' capacities".)

When the Evil Scientist is talking about killing the sharks once the experiment is done, there's a shark watching through the window. Really. And his motivation for all this is… the Rise of the Machines, in that he's scared of the AI singularity and wants to make humans smarter to match. (Is he in the Rationalist community? It seems like an accurate portrayal of the sort of monomania about a single hypothetical problem that I've seen from there.)

The Firedrake.org Award for Really Bad Research Station Design goes to the people who set it up so that allowing a zodiac to drift into an exposed box causes a minor explosion and knocks over the (open!) fuel barrels, from which the fuel floats into the electric fence and sets off another explosion that kills most of the power and destroys most of the above-water structures. A bit of nose-ramming is all it takes to go from there to the whole thing breaking apart and sinking, though of course not before lots of corridors are half-filled with water.

When you're arguing about who should do the dangerous mission, maybe say "I'll go because I know sharks and I have the best chance of survival" rather than "I'll go and you can't stop me, nyah nyah nyah".

Shark-lovin' heroine is the first one to suggest that the survivors attack the super-sharks rather than just trying to get away from them; indeed, she stands in waist-deep water with a gas welder planning to parry small sharks one at a time. (This works about as well as you'd expect, and is possibly the best shot in the film, much more effective than the "shocking" effect a few minutes later when someone is shown to have had everything from torso down eaten by sharks… but presumably that was before he started moving away from the water and up the long ladder that he's just climbed up, even if the water was rising? You'd think he'd notice, or scream, or something.)

And yes, of course there's a scene of CPR causing someone to gasp and come back to life.

Having two flares shot into its mouth will instantly kill a megashark. And if you're worried about any other sharks surviving, blowing up what's left of the base will finish them off, honest (except of course there's an unconvincing hook for a sequel).

Everything is desperately underlit. The emergency lights come in red, blue and green, presumably so that you know which corridor you're in (or so that you can shoot multiple locations on the same set).

Sometimes the script feels as though it's trying to fix the problems of the first film: now we have both big sharks to be scary in open water and new-born shark pups to swim along the corridors and eat the expendable meat among the cast (and of course leap out of the water shrieking). And the sharks are named as bull sharks, the sort most likely to be involved in actual attacks on humans. And someone actually points out that the rungs in the air shaft were put there for maintenance. Yeah, they gave screen time to someone saying that.

This is probably the worst film I've seen this year. This is not the film I have enjoyed least this year; that was Spy. But the reason I enjoyed it more than that is specifically because, by every vaguely objective measure of filmmaking, it's much worse. It's no Shark in Venice, but it comes pleasingly close. Recommended to lovers of bad film.

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See also:
Shark in Venice

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