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Shark Info 3 / 99   (10-15-1999)

Author

  Intro:

Circling around alleged victims

Shark Info

  Main article:

Shark Behavior: Circling around alleged victims

Dr. E. K. Ritter

  Article 1:

What do you know about shark brains and noses?

Dr. J. F Morrisey

  Article 2:

Film Review: Deep Blue Sea

Shark Info

  Article 3:

Annual Shark Congress in Pennsylvania

Shark Info

  Article 4:

Weak shark protection

Shark Info

  Fact Sheet:

Bull Sharks

Dr. E. K. Ritter


Film Review: Deep Blue Sea

By Shark Info / Shark Foundation

At the end of October 1999 the new shark film "Deep Blue Sea" will makes its debut in Swiss movie theaters. With this film Warner Brothers has again managed to add a new sad chapter to the story of the "White Shark" (original film title: "Jaws"), and this time they pulled out all psychological stops. Not only overpowering sharks but also certain facets of molecular biology, much in disrepute and for lay people difficult to understand, must take the blame for this horror trip. This time, the badly created computer-animated actors are not white people but mako sharks (Isurus ???). But this is unimportant, the main purpose is to fill move cash registers.

This film represents a typical mixture of science fiction, pseudoscientific half-truths and, of course, the most "enticing" aspect, some extremely brutal scenes. In American terms the film is "politically correct", containing no sex but much violence and brutality. Who in Hollywood was ever really interested to learn that even the author of the original book "Jaws", Peter Benchley, distanced himself from the movie script, after his attention was drawn to the devastating international consequences which the filming of his book would have on sharks.

The story line in brief

Dr. Susan McAlester used molecular biological techniques to alter the genes of three mako sharks in order to allow extraction of a wonder drug for treating Alzheimer disease (which by chance her father was suffering from) from their brains. Her gene manipulations were obviously marked by lack of ethics and her colleagues on Aquatica, a research lab located in the middle of the ocean, let her feel this. Added to all this, Dr. McAlester had problems with her sponsors who wanted to see some results from her research and who presented her with an ultimatum. As it was bound to happen, she was trying to extract the "wonder drug from the shark's brain, as the shark escapes, tries to free the other sharks and in the process severely damages Aquatica. It would not be a Hollywood production if these events did not coincide with a severe storm which envelopes the sinking Aquatica lab. And that's when it starts. Humans are confronted with the "monster" makos generated by researchers. It is a hard fight since the gene manipulations produced bigger, stronger and more intelligent sharks than the normal unmanipulated makos. The hunt results in very brutal scenes in which the sharks, as usual, attack humans, resulting in the death of most actors. Remarkably, the director, Renny Harlin, must have had a relaxed fantasy at times since some scenes remind one strongly of "Jaws 1" and "2".

Of course, the world returns to normalcy in the end, and the ruthless female scientist sacrifices herself. All the sharks are dead and at least two humans survive.

So what are we supposed to learn from all this? That humans are more intelligent than sharks, even if the latter underwent gene manipulations? Or that today it is possible to sell any story with sufficient advertising?

Not only is the script weak, the shark animations are very disappointing and in no way comparable to the dinosaurs created for "Jurassic Park". The animated sharks could never swim except in their own animated ocean. For example, to move forward they use their tails rather than their entire body like a real shark would do. Quite obviously, the animators concentrated their efforts on scenes in which the sharks bite body parts to pieces rather than on observing natural shark motions.

As concerns the live actors, the movie aims more at shocking the viewer. The directors of the original "Jaws" movies at least made efforts to present not only the shark but also the actors true to life. In "Deep Blue Sea", this facet is not convincing, despite the use of well-known actors such as Samuel L. Jackson. The characters are tepid and their performance not very convincing.

We recommend that you refrain from seeing this film in order to not support such moneymaking schemes with shark horror tales. This decision should be made a lot easier in light of the thin script lines and mediocre animations.

May be published only by indicating the source: Shark Info / Shark Info / Shark Foundation



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last change: 06-04-2016 10:48