DEEP BLUE SEA 3 (2020)

Deep Blue Sea 3.jpg

Studio:      Warner Bros.
Director:    John Pogue
Writer:      Dirk Blackman
Producer:  Hunt Lowry, Patty Reed
Stars:     Tania Raymonde, Nathaniel Buzolic, Emerson Brooks, Bren Foster, Reina Aoi, Alex Bhat, Siya Mayola, Avumile Qongqo

Review Score:



A scientific research team clashes with ruthless mercenaries when three genetically enhanced sharks threaten an isolated fishing village.



I haven¡¯t seen the previous ¡°Deep Blue Sea¡± movies. Not even Renny Harlin¡¯s 1999 original. If they¡¯re anything like the redundantly average ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3,¡± which to me appears indistinguishable from every other killer aquatic animal flick out there, then I¡¯m not in any anxious rush to catch up on whatever I may have missed.

For those in a similar boat of newness to the series, there¡¯s no necessity to do so anyway. ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3¡± conveniently recaps the collective 200 minutes of the first two films with a single minute of exposition in a mid-movie dialogue dump. Once upon a time, there was a shady entrepreneur whose supposedly well-intentioned research ultimately engineered sharks with abnormal intelligence and predatory behavior. Yada yada yada, three of those sharks escaped at the end of ¡°Deep Blue Sea 2¡± and are currently headed toward an abandoned fishing village where a quiet climate change study is being conducted.

In addition to the evil corporate cabal that¡¯s always secretly behind these things, we¡¯ve got two teams operating under two different agendas regarding how to handle the sharks. Dr. Emma Collins leads one side. She¡¯s a tough and determined, yet kind and environmentally conscious, marine biologist. Her sidekicks include stock stereotypes such as an eccentric tech nerd, a plucky grad student, and a stern military man who doubles as Emma¡¯s father figure since he was commanding officer to Emma¡¯s deceased biological one.

Resembling a thinner Michael C. Hall, actor Nathanial Buzolic heads up the opposition as Richard. Of course he happens to be Emma¡¯s former flame too, so a romantic push-pull can further gum up their dynamic. Richard is more unethical than unscrupulous, so Bren Foster, a.k.a. Australia¡¯s Kyle Chandler, fills the antagonist gap as bigger bad guy Lucas. A mercenary operating under clandestine orders even Richard doesn¡¯t know about, Lucas does typical bad guy things like gloat, make in-your-face threats, and take pleasure in physically hurting anyone who opposes his objectives. He also leads three interchangeable red shirts who only exist for sharks to chomp on.

With its clich¨¦d characters and familiar setup, ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3¡± essentially operates like a routine SyFy fin feature on a Warner Brothers budget, albeit produced at a DTV discount, not with theatrical movie money. CGI sharks are thus serviceably suitable, at least better than what¡¯s common on made-for-cable chum, although there are still sore thumbs like an opening shot of fins cutting through water and the camera spinning around an island that barely looks better than a PlayStation 2 cutscene.

Weirdly and disappointingly, the film doesn¡¯t have nearly as much underwater action as one would expect. Sharks only slaughter one hapless victim in the film¡¯s first forty minutes. The combined length of their appearances during that same span probably doesn¡¯t even add up to 60 seconds. The meantime mostly fills up on climate change mumbo jumbo, establishing technology that comes into play later, and scientists staring at colored blobs on computer screens.

The most explosive scene involves Lucas letting his full villainy fly as he destroys the tiny village. Somewhat hilariously, all we really see during this simple siege are a couple of small explosions, dozens of pluming water sprays, and one or two people taking dives. It looks exactly like the ¡°Waterworld¡± stunt show Universal Studios puts on 10 times a day, and is about as impressive. Entertaining for undiscerning tourists, I guess.

Everyone in the cast fortunately knows what they signed up for. While director John Pogue applies a good grip that keeps anyone from getting campy or cartoony, there is a certain gaminess to the performances that makes their personalities pleasant enough.

Enjoyability starts at the top with Tania Raymonde as Emma. She¡¯s always been a here and there standout in everything from ¡°Lost¡± to ¡°Texas Chainsaw 3D.¡± ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3¡± confirms she¡¯s primed to step into brighter spotlights with more prominent roles. Raymonde isn¡¯t going to eclipse Scarlett Johansson or whomever in A-lister star status. But she comes with plenty of charisma for carrying a B-movie. ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3¡¯s¡± camera clearly likes Raymonde too, as it conspicuously tilts from her torso to her thighs during each of the innumerable segues where she strips down to swimwear.

I¡¯ve seen ¡°Deep Blue Sea 3¡± described as ¡°dumb fun.¡± One of those two words fits better than the other. Decide for yourself which works best. Kicked back viewers may merely want to set their minds to idle and dive into disposable drive-in dippiness. Others may merely wonder why assembly line shark thrillers are still being manufactured when even the subgenre¡¯s biggest supporter could not conceivably need another one.

Review Score: 50