Deep Blue Sea aspires to be a thriller in the vein of Jaws. It employs many of the same scare tactics – fear of sharks, fear of drowning, etc., but adds to those basic fears by making the antagonists of the movie more than just “regular” sharks. They are super sharks – larger, smarter, faster, and generally much better than your average shark. This leads to one of the least plausible endings of a movie ever filmed. The implausibility begins immediately and compounds over the course of the film, but one cannot possibly be prepared for the big reveal at the end.
Not only does Deep Blue Sea suffer from one of the most comically absurd premises ever recorded on film, but the execution is tremendously flawed. The cast is composed of mainly second tier actors who display why they are in that tier. The dialogue is marvelously trite and contrived, with characters oscillating between being far too scared about a situation and being far too nonchalant about it the next. In the movie’s defense, this is a problem faced by numerous thrillers where the humans are essentially there to run from the monsters and to be killed in various ways. However, Deep Blue Sea makes no effort to overcome this problem. In fact, it seems to revel in it.
Perhaps the worst part of the movie is the CGI. The sharks look relatively believable in their scenes, but the special effects wizards paid no attention to the shark size, having them change sizes from scene to scene. While the shark rendering is passable, the scenes where sharks are combined with their prey show the shortcomings of CGI in 1999. The humans look like dolls with which the sharks are playing.
The film also ignores physics when necessary. It plays fast and loose with shark anatomy. The characters are so one-faceted that it’s amazing they even have names. This movie moves from one unbelievable sequence to another. It builds on each successive, incredible, ridiculous event culminating in a crescendo of silliness so colossal, that the we as viewers are amazed that the writers and director expected us to accept it. It’s a truly wondrous masterpiece of inanity.
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16| Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Comments
Chapter 1: 0:00 – 03:47
The film starts with a shot of water and, as the camera nears, we see a boat from underwater. The camera switches angles to show the boat and its passengers. The boat is occupied by a group of attractive young people out for a little party. The boat is attacked by a large shark, which erupts from the sea, through the floor, into the middle of the boat. Two of the passengers are knocked out of the boat and are about to be eaten by the shark when the shark is harpooned by Carter Blake, who is firing the harpoons from another boat.
This is the initial introduction to the sharks. This is a blatant rip off of Jaws, or perhaps it is an homage to Jaws. It’s a straightforward scene where kids are somehow in a tiny boat out in the middle of the calmest ocean one has ever (never?) seen. As is customary with movie sharks, instead of attacking other fish, or looking for bait in the water, the shark instead rams its head through a boat. Is the shark looking for humans specifically and somehow knows that they reside on boats? Can it recognize boats? Or did it think it could attack something many times its size and win?
Also, how did Carter know where the shark was? Was he following it in his yacht? If so, why did he wait until the shark was mere feet from ripping the flesh from a nice rich couple? Or did he just go to the nearest boat in the hopes that the shark would attack? How was it that the people in the sailboat never heard nor saw Carter’s yacht approaching? Why didn’t the shark attack the boat with Carter on it? Perhaps it knew Carter had a harpoon with a tranquilizer.
Chapter 2: 03:48 – 08:00
A helicopter lands on the roof of a large office building. The scene cuts to the interior of the building, where a meeting is taking place. Dr. Susan McCallister is admitting that there have been problems with “the facility”. Listening to her is Russell Franklin and another man sitting in a chair. Franklin tells McCallister that he has sunk $200 million into the facility and that he does not want to lose money in the stock market. McCallister talks about how they are trying to cure Alzheimer’s disease and relates a story about her father. She says that if Franklin gives her 48 hours (the weekend) she can show results that will make his stocks sky rocket. Apparently, Franklin agrees to give McCallister more time as they are next seen in a prop plane, and then landing at a large sea facility, Aquatica. We see shark hunter Carter Blake again, this time dropping a captured shark into one of the facility’s underwater pens. Franklin also meets Janice Higgins, a marine biologist.
Here we see Samuel Jackson’s character, Russel Franklin, and further proof that he will take any role. Seriously, he is probably available for your school play. He sports his best Malcolm X glasses, then proceeds to mail in his performance. It makes you wonder if he was reading the script from cue cards. That lack of knowledge of the script would explain why he chose to take the role in the first place. In response to Franklin’s concern about stock prices, McCallister engages him in this witty repartee:
McCallister: “Tell me Mr. Franklin, have you ever known anyone with Alzheimer’s?”
It’s funny enough that she has to walk to the window and pout before asking him this question but his response is excellent. He has to pause as if he is trying to remember. Maybe he has Alzheimer’s.
She then goes on to relate how her father has the disease and she had to tell him everyday that his wife was dead, thus breaking his heart. It makes one wonder why she would continue to do that when he isn’t able to remember whether or not she is alive. I guess she figures it’s better to tell the truth and crush the soul of a man with a degenerative brain disorder than to let him continue believing his wife is alive and on vacation or out shopping. It sure makes for a better story.
McCallister finishes by saying that if Franklin gives her a weekend then she can produce results that will make the stock skyrocket. Okay… how? Is she going to produce a pill to cure Alzheimer’s on Saturday, have it cleared for use by the FDA on Sunday, and then put out a press release in time for the opening of the stock market Monday morning?
It clearly convinces Mr. Franklin, as we next see them in a little red plane where he tells Dr. McCallister how compelling her 30 second speech was. Apparently, the helicopter wasn’t available anymore. Or perhaps McCallister didn’t arrive on the helicopter. Maybe the helicopter wasn’t even Franklin’s or it didn’t even land on the building where his office is. Either way, we learn that he saved some people’s lives (not all of them) in an avalanche in the Alps, and that he can pilot a plane.
Then we see the facility. The good Dr. McCallister explains that Aquatica was a naval facility that they picked up and to which added labs and pens. Mr. Franklin apparently picked up the bill. So that is what $200 million gets you. You would think, however, that he would already know this since he gave them $200 million dollars. Didn’t they have to make some sort of proposal? Did he at least see some blue prints or a photograph of the naval facility on which he was spending $200 million? Clearly he is only marginally concerned about his money or he wouldn’t be threatening to shut down the operation. He clearly won’t make any money in the stock market by just shutting down the research entirely.
Chapter 3: 08:00 – 12:52
Russell Franklin and Dr. McCallister land at the Aquatica. There they meet the major players on the facility. Janice Higgins starts to show Franklin around the facility and Franklin notices Carter Blake swimming in a pen into which a tiger shark was recently released. He calls out for someone’s attention but no one responds. The shark swims towards Carter but Carter quickly dodges and grabs the dorsal fin, riding the shark for a brief while before reaching ahead to pry loose a license plate stuck in the shark’s teeth. Carter climbs out of the water and hands the plate to Dr. McCallister, saying that they need to talk. Carter is introduced to Russell Franklin and gives him the cold shoulder. Franklin also sees a large group of people leaving on a boat and Higgins tells him that they run a skeleton crew on the weekend. One of the staff states there is a squall heading towards them but the departing crew is not concerned.
Dr. Higgins points to a man peeing into the wind and tells Franklin that it is Dr. James Whitlock, another researcher. She also shows him the sharks that escaped earlier. They are two 1st Gens males and one 2nd Gen female. Carter talks to Tom “Scoggs” Scoggins who thinks Carter missed with the tranquilizer he used on the shark at the beginning of the movie. Carter says it took two tranqs and that if Scoggs hadn’t left the pen open it wouldn’t have been an issue. Carter inquires about the height of the fences above water.
Once again, we see that Carter is the resident badass. He must display it frequently as no one was concerned that he was swimming in a giant pen with a 12-foot tiger shark. He further cements this image by playing chicken with the shark to remove a license plate instead of removing it while the shark was incapacitated during transit. Samuel L continues to deliver his lines like he has just been told them right before they started the scene, while dressing like he is trying to join the Bushwood Country Club.
Now, everyone on Aquatica knows Franklin is there to personally inspect the facility into which he has sunk so much money. So, since their jobs are on the line, and they only have 48 hours to make a medical breakthrough on par with curing polio, they all decide to take the weekend off and to let the weekend shift handle it. Do they even plan on returning? Also, the radio lady says a “nasty bitch of a squall” is on its way. Then we see the screen, and it’s actually a hurricane. She is clearly not very good at her job.
When Higgins introduces the audience to the altered sharks, she has her finest moment. She speaks the following line as if she is more surprised she said it than we are to hear it:
“Beneath this glassy surface, a world of gliding monsters.”
If you look closely, you can see where actress Jaqueline McKenzie almost loses it in the middle of the line.
The discussion between Carter and Scoggs is illuminating. It implies that the fences might not be high enough to keep the sharks in. The sharks apparently escaped either because the pens were left open or by other means. It also gives actor Michael Rappaport the opportunity to use his irrepressible New York accent. If someone were to hold a gun to his head and demand he speak in any other accent than a New York accent, I am certain he would reply, “Fugidaboudit!”
Last, if the two 1st Gen sharks are males, how is there a 2nd Generation?
Chapter 4: 12:52 – 18:40
Higgins continues to show Franklin around Aquatica. Franklin has a brief conversation with Carter where it is revealed that Carter served two years in Leavenworth for theft. McCallister and Whitlock talk about how their research is progressing faster than would be ideal, with McCallister saying they have no choice. The cook, Sherman “Preacher” Dudley, is shown baking something and feeding his parrot. He mentions it is feeding time and the camera cuts to underwater. The tiger shark is released into the pen with the next generation sharks and the sharks immediately attack and rip apart the tiger shark. Dr. McCallister is called up to the surface where it turns out a surprise party is being thrown for her.
At least Dr. Whitlock sees the folly in what Dr. McCallister is attempting. He seems to be aware of things like trials and testing. Dr. Whitlock is played by Stellan Skarsgård, who is a fine actor and qho seems to be trying to hide his face from the camera at all times. He might be embarrassed to be in the movie and he should be. Minutes after Higgins tells Franklin how difficult it is to live underwater, we see the massive kitchen. It’s absolutely enormous. It’s bigger than the kitchen in most restaurants. It’s so big that the one cook could not possibly use all of it. Also, while they have a skeleton shift on the weekends, it appears that the cook is essential personnel. Last note on the kitchen – what could be less sanitary than an un-caged bird on a diet of cream flying around? I’m sure it’s well trained not to defecate on anything. Birds never poop on stationary objects. At least it has so many funny things to say like “Sqwuak! You have a big butt!” Ha ha… how droll!
They call McCallister up to the surface level so they can throw her a surprise party. Now, the future of the station is in peril due to a possible lack of funding. The man who is making the funding decision is on the premises and they have promised him an amazing breakthrough. So they decide to throw a little birthday party. “SURPRISE! We’re not working on a cure for Alzheimer’s!” Also, they didn’t bother to invite the regular, full-time staff. Perhaps everyone on the station loathes Dr. McCallister so much that they refused to celebrate her birthday. Or maybe they saw the folly of wasting time on a birthday party when they are all about to be fired.
It’s also curious that Franklin isn’t flipping out about the waste of time that a birthday party becomes when up against such a deadline. Then again, maybe the threat of rescinding funding was just a ruse to allow him to attend McCallister’s birthday party without tipping her off.
The feeding is particularly absurd. First, they drop the tiger shark into the water from a net. They had done the same thing earlier in the day and five minutes earlier in the movie. Did they let it swim around so Carter could go for a shark ride and grab the license plate only to recapture it and drop it into the water again? Is the shark in some sort of dunk tank? Are they allowing people to throw baseballs to dunk the shark to raise private funding? Or does Aquatica have a huge supply of netted tiger sharks which they can just drop at a moments’ notice? Some of the sharks are for feeding; the others are just for shark rides. Or, maybe the writing and directing is so bad that no one noticed this. Also, when the other sharks attack the tiger shark they quickly break it into pieces. The Aquatica team must have captured the most brittle shark in recorded history. Not only does it break into three pieces, but they are three distinct almost unconnected pieces. It’s as if the modified sharks were able to slice the tiger shark into pieces with a blade, cleanly shearing through skin, muscle, and cartilage. It’s also the most sedentary shark ever. It is dropped into water and it just sits there until the other three sharks swoop in and dismember it.
Chapter 5: 18:40 – 22:22
The party continues as Franklin meets Preacher and Carter talks with McCallister. Carter and McCallister flirt briefly before he cautions her on moving too quickly with the research. She says she has to show results and brings up his criminal past to show him how much he needs the job and thus to quell his complaints. He says the sharks are behaving oddly – they hunt in packs and they only eat sharks. She asks him not to tell Franklin about the sharks’ escape.
Franklin has a conversation with Higgins and Whitlock. Higgins explains that sharks never lose brain function and that they hope to use protein from the shark brain to reactivate human brain cells stored in the forebrain of the shark. By using a hormonal enhancer they have increased the Gen 2 shark’s forebrain by a factor of five. Higgins states they have not used genetic manipulation, as it would be against company policy and the Harvard Genetics Compact.
Scoggs tells Carter he took care of raising the fences.
While the purpose of this analysis is to document poor movie making, special attention has to be paid to the scene where the characters are dancing at the party. It needs to be watched time and time again to see how forced and uncomfortable the cast looks. Once again, Franklin’s avalanche past is brought up, this time by Preacher (who is also the bartender, apparently).
Franklin: “By the way, the food was excellent, brother.”
Preacher: “You’re the guy that got caught in the avalanche right?”
Franklin: “Yeah, I’m the one.”
Preacher: “Like black men don’t have enough ways to get killed without climbing up some stupid ass mountain in the middle of God’s nowhere. You need to leave that to the white folks, brotha’.”
This is from a black man who is the cook on an underwater research facility that is breeding large sharks. Oh, and he stays behind to cook a birthday cake and tend bar for a party with a bunch of white people while a hurricane approaches. Ye without sin, Preacher.
Franklin learns why the altered sharks are so different. The doctors on Aquatica are increasing the sharks’ brain size so that they can harvest more protein – although it’s unclear what this means. They say they are harvesting protein, and then say the human cells are stored in the shark forebrain. Of special note is how little Stellan Skarsgård wants to be in this movie. Again, he is trying to hide his face even when he’s the only person in the shot. Amazingly, Franklin doesn’t seem to mind that no one is doing anything productive.
Finally, why is McCallister so worried about Franklin discovering the sharks escaping? How can Franklin not already know? When she was in his office, there was a copy of the USA Today with a story about it on the front page!
Chapter 6: 22:22 – 28:00
The next day dawns and everyone gathers in the lab. Brenda, the weather lady, watches a report about a tropical depression moving over them. They decide to conduct the test anyway. Carter swims out into the water on a fenced-in catwalk. Two sharks swim up and try to bite him from either side. He points his harpoon gun at them and they swim away. The lab crew is surprised that the sharks recognize the weapon and that they swim backwards. The sharks then bite the cameras, blinding the lab and leaving Carter on his own. He manages to capture the Gen 2 shark anyway by using his breathing apparatus as a lure before shooting it with a tranquilizer. He then brings the shark into the lab.
Brenda the weather lady advises the team that there might be less visibility underwater for the test because there is a storm above the water. I guess Aquatica doesn’t have exterior lights. Also, she doesn’t seem to be concerned that what she called a squall is a now a tropical depression. She also seems to spend all of her time sitting in the tower looking at her tiny monitors and yet can’t recognize a hurricane.
Of course, come hell or high water (in this case 30-foot swells) the experiment must go on. So, Carter wades out into the tunnel, and the sharks attack from both sides. They swim away when he brandishes his harpoon gun. Franklin is amazed at this, even though many animals can recognize human weapons as weapons, especially if they have been used against them in the past. What is even more amazing is that the sharks swim backwards. Higgins remarks that they can’t do that and is immediately hushed by Whitlock. First, she is right – sharks can’t swim backwards. It’s not because they don’t know how to, it’s that it is anatomically impossible for them to do so. Sharks fins are situated so that they can move forward quickly and at acute angles, but they cannot possibly swim backwards, regardless of the size of their brains. It would be like a very smart human deducing how to flap his or her arms and fly. It’s not even necessary for the movie to have them swim backwards. They just decided to throw it in there, perhaps to prepare the audience for what would happen later. The great thing, though, is that these sharks just overcame the limitations of their anatomy and broke the laws of physics, but Whitlock wants everyone to focus on the feeding. That is enough right there to continue funding.
But, wait, there’s more. The sharks start biting the cameras. It’s possible that the sharks decided to bite the cameras merely because they suddenly look tasty. It’s amazing that the cameras would be so flimsy and available for the sharks to bite. Of course, in this movie, it is implied that the sharks were doing this in concert. They were waiting for just this moment to destroy the cameras. This would mean that merely by observing the cameras from afar they could deduce their purpose. That’s right, even though the sharks have never been exposed to electricity, lenses, photography, imaging, recording, or anything like that, they know that this object is not a possible food source, but is rather a tool used by other creatures to view events in real time from a remote location. Further, they could somehow tell that they were being watched by those devices, at that precise moment. Or, in an even greater intuitive leap, they knew that when Carter went out that the other humans would be watching and they would have to destroy the cameras.
Undaunted, Carter opens the door to the pen and swims out. He is followed by the mammoth Gen 2 female. While her brain is five times the normal size, it doesn’t seem to help her when confronted by the age old trick of the dummy target. The sharks can tell what a camera is and what it does by mere observation, even though they have never seen anything like it, but the smarter Gen 2 shark is flummoxed when Carter leaves his breathing apparatus behind. Sharks hunt mainly by sense of smell, but this Gen 2 shark with the large brain has advanced to relying on the presence of bubbles.
Chapter 7: 28:00 – 32:27
Carter brings the shark into the lab and pronounces it asleep. McCallister removes a protein sample from the shark’s brain. The protein is then dropped onto a sample of brain neurons from an Alzheimer’s patient. The neurons begin to fire, showing that the proteins are able to rehabilitate the neurons.
The shark is considerably smaller when in the lab than in the water. It dwarfed the tiger shark it ate earlier, with its mouth appearing to be about as large as the tiger shark’s body. However, when McCallister is taking the protein out of the shark’s brain it is much smaller. It’s also interesting to note that all the questions about the shark’s wellbeing are directed towards Carter Blake, the ex-con salvage diver, as opposed to Dr. Janice Higgins, the resident marine biologist.
The clinical trial that they were hoping to show to Franklin involved taking the protein directly from the shark’s brain and dropping it onto cells from a human brain with Alzheimer’s. That the protein would have ANY affect on any part of a human being other than being rejected as an alien substance is incredible. The sample was just a lump of, we assume, brain tissue. How the brain tissue was kept alive is a miracle. Brain tissue can’t exist for long outside of its host. How was it kept hydrated? Did they feed the cells somehow? Is there some Alzheimer’s patient in a nearby whose brain is available to slice and remove portions so they can spray some shark protein on them? This is something that is so incredible that it would be worthy of continued funding.
Miraculously, it works. By merely dropping the fluid onto the neurons, they become zombie neurons and come back to life and start firing. Of course, there is no knowing if these new cells work in the same way they did before, if they can be reintegrated into a brain, if it’s a fluke, or anything else. Here’s another fantastic thing. The neurons start firing without any electrical source to fire them up. I guess the required energy is in the shark protein. That’s a new source of electricity – clearly a reason to continue funding for Aquatica.
It’s uncertain, however, how they plan on marketing this to the public.
“Yes, Mrs. Johnson. What we want to do is cut open your father’s head and drop a little shark brain protein on it. It should make the cells regenerate in seconds. Maybe he’ll even learn to fly by flapping his arms!”
Chapter 8: 32:27 – 38:20
While lighting up a celebratory cigarette, Whitlock moves too close to the shark. It comes to just in time to lurch towards Whitlock and bite off his arm. As Whitlock crawls away, Carter breaks open the weapons locker and takes out a shotgun. As he is about to shoot the shark, McCallister releases it back into the pen. They begin to tend to Whitlock as Brenda puts out a distress call. A helicopter answers her call from an oil platform. The extreme weather makes it impossible for the helicopter to land, so it drops a hook. Carter attaches Whitlock’s stretcher to the hook and he is lifted into the air. The winch malfunctions, and he is dropped into the water. Something grabs him and pulls the helicopter into the tower, creating a massive explosion.
Whitlock’s injury is totally on him. Everyone knows you don’t approach a groggy shark unless you are an ex-con salvage diver. Once Whitlock is bitten, Carter takes the logical step of kill the shark. McCallister, having seen the miracle of spontaneous cell regeneration, releases the shark back into the water. Carter is angry about this, forgetting that he can track a shark in the ocean with ease and that the shark is only being released into a pen, where he could kill it at leisure.
Watching the scientists attempt to save Whitlock makes you wonder why there is no medical facility on Aquatica. They have the largest kitchen on the sea, and the cook has to stay on weekends to bake cakes, but there is no infirmary. If there were a medical doctor assigned to the center, he or she is clearly on the mainland shuttering his or her house in preparation for the landfall of the tropical depression that is over Aquatica.
Nonetheless, Brenda is able to put out a distress call that is immediately answered by a helicopter from an oil platform. Before making it to the surface where the helicopter has miraculously arrived in mere minutes in a hurricane, they have Whitlock on a stretcher and are moving him up in an elevator. Dr. McCallister astutely notices that Whitlock is hemorrhaging while injecting him with something. Perhaps it is shark protein, and it will teach him to regrow his limbs. Also, the statement “He’s hemorrhaging” is a tremendous understatement. A shark bit his arm off. How could he possibly NOT be hemorrhaging? Franklin, always ready to help, takes off his belt and wraps it around the stub of Whitlock’s arm. Sure, that will help. His arm has been off for a few minutes now and they have moved him to a stretcher and into the elevator, and now he thinks to stop the bleeding? McCallister states “I’m not this kind of doctor.” To which Franklin replies, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” So she continues to do nothing. Eventually, they put an oxygen mask on Whitlock, allowing Stellan Skarsgård to hide his face more and act even less than he has been.
By the time they reach the top, the helicopter is already there. This has to be some sort of response time record. In the time it took for the Aquatica gang to put Whitlock on a stretcher and move him to the surface, the helicopter has arrived. Does this oil platform have medical personnel flying around the ocean just in case someone needs help? Obviously, since they responded so quickly and flew through a hurricane they didn’t have time to check their equipment. As they are lifting Whitlock into the chopper, the winch inexplicably jams. Then it releases Whitlock back into the water.
Once he falls, the sharks are waiting for him. How do they know he’s in the water? Well, they just do. Sure, there is a hurricane going on, with 30-foot swells and it is reducing visibility underwater to a foot. But the sharks are smart, so this doesn’t affect them. They grab Whitlock and start to pull him underwater. By this time, the winch has reengaged, and now the shark is in a tug-of-war against the winch and the helicopter.
The shark wins. It overpowers a helicopter. Let me repeat that – the shark wins, it overpowers a helicopter. Not only does the shark have enough swimming power to pull a helicopter out of the air, but all of the connections between the winch and the shark have the requisite tensile strength to withstand the pull from a helicopter. So, if Whitlock and his stretcher were somehow riveted to the ground, the helicopter would be unable to lift off. The bolts that hold down the winch are stronger than a helicopter. The wire is stronger than the helicopter. The hook and the straps on the stretcher are stronger than the helicopter. The shark’s jaws are stronger than the helicopter as well as its teeth and gums. Finally, rather than being pulled out of the water by the helicopter, the shark is so strong that it can pull the helicopter down and then drag it towards the tower.
But, not only does it drag a helicopter, it drags it through the superstructure of Aquatica. The cable slices through the metal catwalks, showing that this cable not only has amazing tensile strength but also sheer strength. It also shows that the shark is MUCH stronger than a helicopter as it can pull the chopper while overcoming the resistance from the papier-mâché Aquatica. The shark drags it over to the tower, where Brenda is still sitting in isolation. The helicopter crashes into the tower and immediately explodes. Why did the helicopter explode? No reason. A better question is why, does the entire facility explode? The helicopter crash creates a chain reaction that makes several colossal explosions take place. Is the entire place wired with explosives? Are there gas reserves throughout Aquatica? What could possibly explain such a giant explosion? Nothing.
Chapter 9: 38:21 – 43:51
After watching the helicopter crash make the entire station explode, the surviving members, back in the wet lab, wonder what to do next. Before they can even make a plan, Franklin notices something through the observation window. It is revealed that it’s a shark with Whitlock in its mouth. The shark speeds towards the window and suddenly stops while releasing Whitlock and the stretcher, letting them slam into the window. The impact cracks the window, and the pressure from the ocean forces the window to break. The ocean water rushes in and the crew rushes through the wet lab door closing it behind them.
Then there is a brief discussion where Scoggs tells them that there is no staircase on that level and that the elevator shaft automatically seals to prevent it from flooding. They change plans and decide to go back through the wet lab, down a level, and to use the mini-sub to go back up top. Meanwhile, we see Preacher drinking and walking around his level. He approaches a staircase and hears noises. The source of the noise is soon apparent as water comes rushing down the staircase and carries him away.
If the movie hadn’t turned totally absurd with the shark being able to recognize a camera and tow a helicopter, this is where it really becomes absurd. The super-strong cable and connections that wouldn’t break as they were in a tug-of-war-between-a-helicopter-and-the-world’s-strongest-shark, somehow broke. Maybe the giant explosion did it. Of course, there is no visible damage to Whitlock and there is no cable hanging from the stretcher so it must be that the shark somehow unhooked the cable. Clearly, the shark’s teeth and fins are just the sort of appendage one would need to manipulate a comparatively tiny clasp.
Not only have the sharks mastered simple mechanical devices that should be impossible to manipulate due to their anatomy, but also they have a plan. One of the sharks decides to use Whitlock as a projectile. It speeds towards the observation window and comes to a dead stop, propelling Whitlock into the window. These sharks are brilliant. They have learned to overcome the previously-thought-of-as-immutable laws of physics. An object in motion will stay in motion. Well, not a shark. A 2nd Generation shark can just come to a full stop in water. The shark has no way to create this effect – it can’t use friction to stop, its fins are situated for forward speed, and there is nothing into which it could run to alter its momentum. The water will offer resistance but the shark has evolved to pass through water with as little resistance as possible. Dr. Whitlock, strapped to a gurney, would suffer quite a bit of resistance, though. Perhaps it’s magic. Whatever it is, it allows the shark to perform another miracle of physics. Whatever force slowed it down had no affect on Whitlock. Whitlock speeds through the water, unimpeded by the incredible resistance the water would present, and slams into the observation window. He also sticks to it, not sliding down towards the Earth’s core, as his greater specific gravity would dictate.
The impact must have been powerful, though. It makes the glass crack. It makes one wonder what shoddy materials were used in the making of this station. Didn’t Franklin put $200 million into it? They couldn’t afford shatter-resistant glass, or even Plexiglas? The glass looks to be about 4 inches thick, judging by the chunks of it. You would think that would be enough to withstand the impact of a doughy scientist, but clearly it isn’t, what with the physics-bending shark pushing it. Also, McCallister must have injected Whitlock with the wondrous shark protein in the last chapter. Because he is rammed face first into a glass window at least four inches thick with enough force to break said window, and he suffers no damage. Dr. Whitlock has no broken bones, or a broken nose, nor even a fat lip! He even manages to keep his oxygen mask on. At least Stellan Skarsgård won’t have to pretend he’s acting much longer.
The sideshow to this ignoring of physics is Preacher walking around with his talking parrot. This is apparently supposed to be comic relief. What could be funnier than LL Cool J with a wisecracking parrot? (Answer: Samuel L. Jackson dressed as Mr. Howell from Gilligan’s Island). Somehow, his level avoided flooding until he moved to the stairs. He is on level 1-A, and the others are trying to move down to level 3. So, he’s above them and there is another leak in the facility from the surface. Why did the sharks feel the need to break the glass?
Chapter 10: 43:52 – 48:55
The scene shifts to show the group on level 2 moving to go to the other stairwell to move down to level 3. As they pass by the door, they hear something repeatedly banging on it. McCallister thinks it might be some equipment, but Carter disagrees. The banging increases and it becomes obvious the door is not going to hold. They run to the stairwell and open the door just as water spills into the hall. Carter slips and falls again. He falls every time they flee water – I forgot to mention that.
The scene then transfers to Preacher as he walks along the hallway half-filled with water. His level has only half-flooded. We also see a shark fin moving through the burning wreckage of Aquatica’s surface, swimming into a hole in the station wall.
Then we see the other survivors in the stairwell make a series of intuitive leaps. Franklin asks Carter if it was a shark that broke through the steel door. Carter says that a Gen 2, with enough room to move, could put that much force into a door. Franklin then surmises that the sharks are not doing it for fun – they are chasing the humans. Carter agrees but says he’s not the expert. Franklin questions McCallister as to what she had done to the sharks and she says that she and Whitlock broke the Harvard Genetics Accord and used gene therapy to increase the size of the brains. The sharks’ becoming smarter was a side effect. Carter thinks that this is a horrible idea, and that it puts humans on the bottom of the food chain. He also seems to have hurt feelings that McCallister didn’t confide in him; that she used them all.
Let’s start with Preacher’s half-filled hallway. It’s below the surface, and there is clearly a leak letting the water in. Nothing has been done to plug this leak. Why the air isn’t rapidly escaping into the water, due to its lighter density, is yet another mystery. Somehow, the ocean managed to put a little water into the station, but not to fill it up. The shark swimming into the hole confirms that the water level is still higher than the level of the leak, which would normally lead to water rushing in as the air escapes. But, no, that would follow physics. Instead, the shark just swims through the hole. At least the hurricane appears to have passed, or the rain machine stopped working on set.
One assumes that the steel door broke because it was made of the same shoddy materials and workmanship as the fragile observation window. But no, it was sharks. Carter tells us that a shark could ram through a steel door if given the room. First, that room wasn’t that big. Second, the door was being hit repeatedly in rapid succession. One would imagine that the shark would have to have a swimming start and ram the door to break it down. Of course, it couldn’t do that as quickly as the banging you hear. Also, Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, the same amount of force applied to the steel door would be applied to the shark’s body. Sharks’ skeletons are not even as durable or strong as humans’, being composed of cartilage as opposed to bone. So, while Dr. Whitlock’s face might be able to escape a collision with a glass window unscathed, the shark would probably break every “bone” in its body. So, the only solution is that the sharks once again have overcome their anatomical limitations and were using tools as a third class lever to smash the door like some squaloid fireman. That, or this is one of the worst scripts ever written.
Further, how would the sharks know where the humans were anyway? Did they leave footprints to follow? Or is there a Scoggs in the shark ranks who knows the layout of the facility well enough to surmise where they must have gone? How could the sharks possibly recognize that structure as a portal, having never seen an interior door and knowing nothing of how humans move around outside of water? Are the sharks’ powers of observation so amazing that they can merely look at the outside of a structure and deduce its internal workings and engineering? Maybe the sharks have a blueprint, or x-ray vision?
Franklin, finally, has shown some curiosity by asking a few questions. Carter says he’s not the expert. He’s right; he’s not the expert. He thinks a shark could smash a steel door. McCallister admits that they broke the rules and made the sharks smarter. This prompts another angry rant from Carter, in which he says the humans have been dropped to the bottom of the food chain. In his mind, the presence of three sharks that he has routinely shot and put to sleep, makes humans lower than chickens and cattle. Woe is us. These sharks, who can’t even master opening a door, are destined to usurp humankind’s control of the Earth. They will soon be raising armies and invading dry land. Or, perhaps, Carter isn’t the expert and has no idea what he’s talking about.
As the scene ends, Franklin wonders what an 8,000lb shark with no predators wants – even though he had just surmised that they are trying to get him and his employees. Perhaps he is just wondering what they will do once they have eaten all the humans. What is even better about this line of reasoning is that the largest Mako shark on record was about 1,300lb. That would make this shark roughly 4.5 times the size of that shark. Now, that is a breakthrough that would be enough to keep funding. They could just breed these giant sharks for food. That puny, record breaking 1,300lb shark was about 13 feet long. So we can assume that this shark is somewhere around 30-40 feet long, even though it looked much smaller when McCallister was withdrawing the magic shark protein. Still, at the size we saw it, it STILL COULDN’T FIT THROUGH THE DOOR, so why knock it down?
Chapter: 11: 48:55 – 55:03
Preacher moves down the hall looking for his bird. He realizes that behind him in the water is one of the sharks. He moves back into the kitchen to avoid the shark. The shark follows him. While Preacher tries to coax his bird off a floating pot, the shark leaps up and eats the bird. Preacher falls into the water and swims towards an oven and climbs in. The shark begins to ram into the oven glass and accidentally turns the oven on. Preacher cuts through the top of the oven into another chamber and climbs up just as the shark breaks through. He opens the top door and jumps past the shark and swims to the kitchen door. He takes a lighter out of his pocket, ignites it and throws it across the kitchen. The shark leaps up to bite the lighter as it creates another massive explosion.
The other survivors reach the submarine bay only to find that the entire room has been trashed and the submarine scuttled. Scoggs tells everyone that nothing that happened on the surface could explain the damage. Franklin suggests donning wetsuits to swim up to the top of Aquatica. Higgins begins to verbally attack McCallister, saying that everyone should try to swim – “every man for themselves”.
Preacher moves through the hallways, which are still not flooded for some impossible reason. He sees the shark coming after him. One of the sharks’ secrets is revealed here, though. They can alter their size!!! They can somehow ignore the principles of conservation of mass and become smaller or larger as need be. Case in point – Preacher is in water that is waist deep and yet the 20+-foot shark is entirely submerged below the water. Also, it can swim very comfortably. It must be making itself smaller so as to be able to navigate in such shallow waters. The water in this level is once again magic. While there is a level floor in the kitchen and hallway, the water level constantly changes. One minute, Preacher is up to his waist, then next minute armpits, then to his neck, then back to his waist. Through all of this, the shark is always just below the surface but still has room to swim. Not only can it swim, it can leap out of the water. The shark must have miniaturized itself so that it had enough room to swim upwards to push itself out of the water, then immediately reverted to its full size to eat the bird, then back to the perfect size to remain underwater. Also, the shark was able to see the bird outside of water, flying in the air. These sharks have lived in pens all their lives but somehow have learned to see through water and air, even though light is refracted differently, and to track flying objects.
Back to its underwater size, the shark realizes that Preacher must be in the oven. Maybe it can see him in there, or smell him baking. This is no ordinary oven, though. While the aperture for the oven is below the water line, and Preacher opens it and crawls in, no water makes it inside. I guess the oven was pressurized to keep water out. The shark proceeds to overcome its anatomical inability to swim backwards by somehow swimming backwards and forwards, ramming its nose repeatedly into the glass of the oven door. This makes perfect sense. A shark relies most heavily on its sense of smell, so why not ram your nose repeatedly into a hard object? It doesn’t even hurt. We have already established that Newton’s Third Law does not affect these sharks. They are physics-immune. During one of its lunges, the shark turns on the oven. Preacher cuts his way through the top of the oven into the chamber above and climbs up just as the shark forces its nose through the glass – receiving no cuts from the glass or the jagged metal of the door. He lunges forward, and swims past the shark. As it turns around to pursue him, he pulls a lighter from his pocket. This is a lighter that has been underwater for at least 20 minutes now but it still fires right up on the second try. It even manages to hold the flame as he throws it across the room. The shark can see this tiny lighter flying in mid-air and leaps out to eat it as it ignites the gas in yet another incomprehensibly huge explosion. The gas in the oven had been on for exactly 1 minute, 31 seconds and had been released from the oven for only 30 seconds. However. this was enough gas to set the entire enormous kitchen on fire and kill the shark. It must be the same gas that runs through the surface of Aquatica, which would explain why any open flame creates such bombastic explosions. This gas is a breakthrough that would be worth further funding.
The other plotline leads us to something so implausible that they try to gloss over it and don’t actually show it happening. The sub has been scuttled and it wasn’t the explosion. Hmm, how could that have happened? Their response – Carter says, “Whatever, it’s useless.” They are expecting us to believe that the sharks were able to climb up through the wet pool into the air, knock the submarine down and somehow destroy it. This movie is full of the impossible, but this takes the cake. The sharks were able to destroy a submarine that was hanging on the wall? It’s so absurd the mind can’t even fathom that they would know where the sub was, and that they would know to sabotage it. They could have not included the submarine in the script. Aquatica doesn’t have a sick bay – why would it have a submarine? The only one who ever goes underwater is Carter, and he doesn’t even need his SCUBA gear. Or, they could have easily said the sub was destroyed in the mind-bogglingly large explosion. No, instead they chose to say that the sharks did it. Unbelievable. These sharks were able to recognize the need to scuttle the sub, and somehow do enough damage (with just their teeth and fins) to it to keep it from working. What is this sub made out of that it can withstand the pressure of being under the water, but it can’t withstand sharks? What if someone was in it and a shark decided to bite it? I’m assuming the sharks bit the sub because there is nothing else the shark could use to scuttle the sub.
The last bit of this chapter shows the cracks starting to appear in the resolve of the humans. Higgins, obviously still distressed by the death of her boyfriend Whitlock, starts to blame McCallister for all that has befallen them even though she is the marine biologist and should have seen the differences between the experimental sharks and other sharks. Also, she ignores the fact that her boyfriend was the one who gave the sharks the gene therapy, and the dumbass who smoked a victory cigarette while trying to pet the shark.
One of the film’s throwaway questions is (as Franklin asks): what would happen if the sharks were to escape into the ocean? The obvious answer to that is: nothing, really. They would swim out and attack other sharks. At least, that is, until Carter was able to track it down while it was terrorizing attractive young people. We have already seen that Carter can track any fish in the largest body of water on the planet. Pretty good for an ex-con salvage diver. Scoggs allays any fears, saying that the fence is titanium and it gives so the sharks can’t use their super-strong noses to ram through it. Everyone seems to forget that this same fence had no effect on the shark that escaped at the beginning of the movie. This leads to the farce that, since the net below the water is impenetrable to sharks regardless of how easily they can ram nose-first into steel with no ill effects, and Carter wanted the fence above water raised, the shark at the beginning must have leapt over the eight foot fence Free Willy style. I guess they also forgot about the weapons locker. That shotgun would really come in handy right now. Whatever happened to that anyway?
Chapter 12: 55:04 – 62:11
After donning wetsuits, the crew debates what to do next. Franklin suggests swimming for the surface. Scoggs feels they would never make it and uncovers a maintenance ladder. The problem with the ladder, however, is that opening the shaft in the wet pool room could be destabilized the pressure and the ocean could come flooding into the station. McCallister tries to stop Scoggs from opening the door, causing Scoggs to yell at her. Franklin tells them that when he was trapped in the avalanche his group turned on themselves and killed two members. As he is giving a speech about how they are not going to do the same, one of the sharks lunges out of the wet pool, grabs him and pulls him into the water, where he is quickly eaten.
Everyone is stunned. Scoggs curling up into a fetal position and says he won’t go anywhere – someone will come. Carter asks about the structure of the facility prompting, Scoggs to admit it will be destroyed if there is damage up top and that they don’t want to be there when it does. They open the door, the water rushes in and they close it behind them and begin to ascend the ladder.
As they ascend, we see the shark’s eye view swimming up into the submarine bay, down the hall, and towards the door. The humans hear the door being hit and start to climb faster, sort of. The shark bursts through the door and the shaft starts filling with water. Carter stays behind to attempt to open the door to the second level so that the water will fill that level and give them time to climb before the water brings the sharks up to them.
We see the staff starting to succumb to pressure. Franklin is standing near the wet pool and Carter tells him not to be so close. Franklin suggests swimming since the water is murky. Clearly he doesn’t know that sharks hunt by sense of smell and turbidity wouldn’t bother them. Scoggs says it is a bad idea, stating the difference in swimming speeds for humans and sharks. Maybe Scoggs is the shark expert. Certainly the marine biologist would not be armed with this knowledge. Scoggs uncovers a maintenance ladder that for some reason was entirely covered with light packages, even though there is plenty of available wall space. The survivors can just climb up to the top level. Ah, but there’s a catch. Opening the door might lead to the wet pool filling the room, which, McCallister feels, could bring the whole facility down. Why? Who knows? Maybe it would immediately rust the supports.
Scoggs decides it’s worth the risk and gets into a shouting match with McCallister. Franklin shouts to get their attention and then tells a story about how he survived the avalanche.
“You think water is fast? [No, Franklin, no one mentioned the speed of water at all] You should see ice.” [Ice is water, Franklin, and both move at the speed of gravity minus any friction. Ice is slippery only when part of it melts and becomes water, so ice would move more slowly than water.]
Apparently, the survivors of the avalanche turned on each other and two of the seven didn’t make it for reasons other than the avalanche. Franklin tells everyone this to get their attention and let them know they were going to pull together and survive. However, in the middle of his speech, he is killed by the worst CGI in the movie. The shark has been able to watch while he gave his speech and see through the murky water and the air to clearly make out a human and to lunge up and grab him. This is the most famous scene in this movie and it’s actually kind of funny to see him eaten mid-speech. As such, you somewhat overlook how ridiculous it is that the shark would be able to locate him, let alone leap out and eat him. The sharks generally look passable, even though no effort is made to replicate the sharks’ movement. They zoom around underwater with little use of their fins as if they were jet propelled. This CGI shot looks almost as real as Jabber Jaws. It also makes the shark look positively enormous, much larger than it was merely 20 minutes ago.
Well, that is enough to send Scoggs into panic mode, and he decides to wait. This seems like a pretty good idea since the oil platform crew would definitely be looking for its downed helicopter and should be sending aid. The speed with which it arrived at Aquatica would seem to imply that it wouldn’t take much for the platform to send someone there. Carter talks him out of it by asking him about the structural inadequacies of the station. Apparently, if the station fills with water, it will collapse. It is unclear why, since the station would then have equal pressure inside as well as out as the water fills in, so there would be no pressure on the walls. Perhaps the station would sink with the weight of the water inside of it, but that would be a simple density issue, not a matter of stress on the supports. Whatever the contrived reason, they decide that it’s worth risking flooding the station further by opening the door. See, by their reasoning, they need to go topside because the station could be flooding from the top. They know that it has flooded in the wet lab already, so if it’s flooding from the top then they need to make it up before the station… sinks. Or, whatever. Of course, if they open the door and it is flooding, they will only hasten this reaction by flooding the third level. For once, it seems McCallister is correct.
Of course, she puts up no further fight as they turn the wheel and open the door. Woosh! Out goes the air and the water shoots straight up into the station. It doesn’t come in and spread out like you might expect. No, it is fired right into the ceiling like a giant hose was below the wet pool. They close the door behind them to look up and see that there is a solid circle of fire at the top of the shaft. So, the first level is both flooded with water and still burning furiously. The massive explosion did not use up all of the flammable materials and this fire is leaving enough oxygen in the shaft for people to breathe but it is not creating any smoke. Also, the elevator is blocking the top. So, the maintenance ladder is really the elevator shaft, which makes sense for it to open to the wet pool but for the entrance to be covered with sundry equipment. Also it makes sense that it would be a steel door that can only be opened by cranking the wheel as opposed to elevator doors. So, they have to make it to level one, where they can take the stairs out.
As they slowly climb up, the sharks bang into the door. The shark rams face first into the steel door, knocking it off its hinges, and swims through as the water rushes in. How a shark can ram the most sensitive and important part of its body into a steel door without injury is (hang on, I need to look up another word for unbelievable) astonishing. Nevertheless. the shark does so, again. Since the door was about three feet wide and the humongous shark we saw eating Franklin couldn’t possibly fit through it, it must have reduced its size since it swims right on through as if the door were made for it. Then it expands again so that it can swim in a tight circle around the shaft, appearing to take up half of its circumference.
The brave Carter, realizing that the water will soon bring the shark to the humans, volunteers to stay behind and open the doors to the partially flooded second level to abate the rise of the water. Mere minutes after he expressed his dread of the station flooding, he has now decided to flood the bottom two levels.
Chapter 13: 62:12 – 65:48
As Carter tries to open the doors to level two, the water continues to rise. He jams his knife between the doors but the blade breaks as some water leaks through. Eventually, he is able to open the door only to be greeted by yet another wave of water. As per custom, he falls. He quickly climbs back up onto the ladder, but the station is starting to crumble. An exterior shot shows it starting to give under the pressure. This makes the shaft shake and causes the bolts holding the ladder to fly out. Thus, the ladder becomes unattached at the top and it falls, stopping when it hits the wall. Unfortunately, Dr. Higgins cannot hold on and falls into the water where a shark is waiting for her and, of course, eats her. The water level is rising much more slowly and the surviving three people sitting on the horizontal ladder realize they cannot reach the door to level one now. They hear banging on the door and Carter laments that the sharks have probably flooded that level also. The door opens to reveal Preacher who lowers a rope made of tied-together cloths, which they use to climb up to level one and shut the door behind them.
The shaft opens to three levels. Levels one and three have standard nautical doors that open with a wheel in the middle to be airtight and secure. Floor two, however, has elevator doors. So, apparently the elevator only goes from the surface to level two. The shaft goes all the way down to level three, but they must have decided it would cost too much to let it open to the odd numbered levels. This is a short chapter, so bullet points will suffice.
- Even after just pulling themselves out of the water, their hair is the only thing that is wet. Actually, this has been happening throughout the movie, but I just remembered to mention it.
- The failing structure of the facility somehow makes the rivets holding the ladder shoot out from the concrete wall. Somehow it has created extreme pressure inside the concrete without damaging the concrete.
- Only the rivets at the top of the ladder break.
- Once the level two door is opened and the water rushing out of it joins the water rushing in from level three, the water level rises more slowly. Perhaps instead of working to fill the shaft more quickly, the waters from the two levels are working against each other.
- The sharks continue to change sizes. The special effects team isn’t even trying anymore.
Chapter 14: 65:49 – 75:30
Preacher tells everyone that they can’t take the stairs because they are flooded. Carter realizes they are only 60 feet from the surface, but before he can suggest they swim, Scoggs says they can redirect power and make some bilge pumps work to clear a stairwell. They go to their quarters and grab a flashlight while McCallister expresses remorse to Carter. Carter and Scoggs go back to the wet lab to try to reroute the power while McCallister goes back to her quarters to retrieve research data. Preacher finds a camera and records his last will and testament as well as a recipe for an omelet.
Scoggs and Carter reach the wet lab and find the dead body of Whitlock. They manage to turn on the bilge pumps but a shark immediately kills Scoggs. Carter swims to a door, opens it and is pulled into the hallway as the water from the wet lab rushes into a previously non-flooded section of Aquatica. He surfaces back in the maintenance stairwell/elevator shaft as Preacher is preparing to throw his tape into the water. Preacher helps Carter back up.
Carter puts some oil on his arm because it’s hemorrhaging and sharks smell blood. In spite of everything Carter has seen, and despite all he has said about the sharks’ motivations and abilities, he thinks they are still hunting merely by smell. The crew eschews the stairs because they are flooded – and presumably because there might be a shark or sharks there. Their solution is to swim back through water that has an equal chance of being shark-infested to turn on pumps to clear the stairwell. Of course, one would assume that as quickly as the bilge pumps could clear the water (pumping it where?), the Pacific Ocean could refill it. To help them with this, Scoggs grabs random batteries and jams them into a flashlight to make it work. Why didn’t the flashlight have batteries in it already? Preacher summarizes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity as follows:
“Grab hold of a hot pan, a second can seem like an hour. Put your hands on a hot woman, an hour can seem like a second. It’s all relative.”
Scoggs thinks this is the best physics explanation he has ever heard, even though it has nothing to do with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. That theory describes the motion of particles at close to the speed of light.
They swim to the wet lab and freak out when they see Whitlock. Then, their redirecting power extends to flipping a few switches. Carter leaves the room (as the shark misses or decides not to eat him) by opening a door to a hallway that was somehow not flooded. In the process, he further floods the station, hastening along his greatest fear of the station going down.
Chapter 15: 75:31 – 80:20
Dr. McCallister walks through waist-high water into her quarters and closes the door behind her. She looks around and locates her locker. Taking the key from around her neck, she opens the locker and removes the data disks. She is scared by the model of the shark approaching her, then relieved when it turns out to be just a model. Then the real shark shows up, and she runs on top of a table, then on top of a bookshelf, dropping her research disks into the water. The shark almost bites her hand off as she reaches for them. She rips a power cable off the wall and throws it into the shark’s mouth as it lunges towards her. She electrocutes it, but destroys her data.
McCallister enters her room and the water is waist-high. Saffron Burrows is about six feet tall, so that puts the water at maybe four feet at a maximum. She enters the room and closes the door behind her. There is no shark in sight. The sharks are at least 20 feet long, so that would easily put them at four feet high, even with their bellies scraping the ground. So, there would be no place for the shark to hide. Also, sharks have to continue to swim to breathe so it would have to keep moving. However, somehow the shark remains hidden. Clearly, it must have reduced its size to swim undetected in the shallow water.
Sure enough, once McCallister has her disks the shark attacks, having returned to somewhere near its underwater size. This must be the stupidest of the sharks, though, as it is confounded by a metal bookshelf. McCallister steps up on top of another bookshelf and pulls a cable off the wall. This is more of shoddy construction as the waifish McCallister easily rips the cable out of the box and off the wall while she balances on a tiny platform and can’t even brace herself when she pulls. She strips down out of her wetsuit, using it as insulation, exposing a very nice matching bra and panty set. (Clearly, the casting director had this scene in mind when choosing Saffron.) The shark attacks, this time at almost full size and she throws the cable into its mouth. It dies and falls limply into the water. The great thing about this scene is it shows how truly careless the direction and editing is in this movie. At roughly 79:52, as the shark dies and collapses into the water, you can see that its dorsal fin is sticking about a foot out of the water while the fish is no longer sinking. So, it is resting on the floor now and still sticking out of the water, meaning it couldn’t have hidden under the water at any point unless it could alter its own size. Astounding. Creatures that can alter their own size – now that is worth future funding.
Chapter 16: 80:21 – 85:17
Carter and Preacher meet up with McCallister and inform her of Scoggs, death amd that they were successful with the pumps. Preacher insists they leave, and they head into some other shaft or chamber that hasn’t flooded. The new plan is to flood the chamber they’re in and swim to the surface while using life vests with fire extinguishers on them to distract the remaining shark. This trick works, as the shark attacks one of the vest/extinguisher combos and everyone makes it to the surface. However, the shark realizes its mistake and grabs Preacher’s leg. It drags him around the pen for a bit before Preacher takes the cross from around his neck and stabs the shark’s eye with it. The shark releases him and he swims over to Carter and McCallister.
Carter and Scoggs just risked their lives and sacrificed Scoggs’ life to use the pumps to clear a stairwell. However, even though they succeeded and the stairwell should be clear, Carter comes up with yet another plan. He goes back to the swimming plan. Why did they even bother with the pumps if they were never going to use the stairs?
This plan is to swim the remaining distance to the surface (after flooding even more of the station, which clearly no longer concerns him) but:
Sharks are attracted to churning water, bright colors. These extinguishers should be a distraction.
Carter thinks that these sharks have already:
- taught themselves how to swim backwards even though it is anatomically impossible;
- purposely flooded portions of the facility;
- opened a steel door to chase after them, and thus understood how doors work and how an internal human structure works;
- climbed into a pressurized room with no water in it and scuttled a submarine;
- He also has seen them use a stretcher to break glass, leap out of a wet pool to grab a man standing on the edge giving a rousing speech, and followed them throughout the station.
However, he thinks that the old life-jacket-and-fire-extinguisher-trick will suffice. He never stops to think that maybe the shark is still stuck inside the facility somewhere.
Improbable as it might be, he is right. The shark is not inside the facility. It has been chasing them throughout the facility, somehow managing to be wherever they were inside. Still, it somehow realizes that they are about to make a break for it…finally. Maybe the shark is listening and understands English. It heard Carter’s plan and quickly double-timed it back outside to await them. However, it must have missed the part about the life vests because it ignores the three people it has been chasing and goes right for the vest. Maybe they’re just irresistible to sharks – no matter how large the shark’s brain is. It’s like shark-nip.
Well, either the shark realizes the decoy wasn’t a human, or it just has had enough shark-nip and it doubles back to bite Preacher. In the past, we have seen this shark easily rip through a 12 foot tiger shark, pull a helicopter with a stretcher in its teeth, rend in half Franklin, Higgins, and Scoggs. Yet, when it gets hold of Preacher it can’t seem to bite through him. All it can do is drag him around until he stabs it in the eye. Perhaps it’s just winded after such past exertions.
Deep Blue Sea Part 9 by Fulmonty07
Chapter 17: 85:18 – 89:51
McCallister bandages Preacher and says he’ll be okay if they can get out of there. Carter looks and sees the station continuing to sink. He sees the fences lowering and surmises that is the reason for all the sharks’ actions. They were using the humans to lower the station so that the sharks would have the opportunity to break through the fence on top, which is merely steel. McCallister determines that they must kill the shark and Carter concurs. They grab Carter’s trusty harpoon gun and open flares to make an explosive missile. Carter tells McCallister to wait until he has hit the shark before triggering the explosives. As Carter moves closer, the shark moves underwater, and we can see it ramming into the fence. Carter can’t get a shot, as it’s too close. McCallister decides they need bait, so she cuts her hand and jumps into the water and swims towards the shark. The shark realizes she is in the water and it pulls itself out of the hole it had made in the fence to move back towards her. She tries to swim away but the ladder she tries to use breaks and she falls back into the water. The shark swims up to her, and regards her with its good eye before eating her. While it is doing this, Carter drops his harpoon and jumps in to try and save her. He realizes he can’t and tries to climb up the ladder.
Here, it looks as if the movie is going to end. Day has broken, the storm has passed, and the three surviving members are safely on the surface. Even Preacher seems like he’ll live through his wounds, sleeping peacefully minutes after having his leg shredded by a giant shark. McCallister says he’ll be fine if they can “get out of here”. Apparently, she is that kind of doctor after all and she can properly diagnose and triage a grievous wound to Preacher’s leg. Why being able to get out of there is uncertain is unclear. First, the oil platform with the helicopter that was able to respond to Aquatica in mere minutes must be wondering where its chopper is. Someone would have attempted to contact the station and maybe thought it odd that it wasn’t responding.
There is still smoking debris on the surface as well. How the fire managed to keep burning, through 30-foot swells and the torrential downpour of a Tropical Depression, is staggering. In fact, such a flammable substance would be miraculous – worthy of further funding. The smoke rising from the fires, which have been burning all night, might have been noticed and investigated. It’s actually hard to believe that the Coast Guard isn’t sitting there in boats waiting for them when they surfaced. Or, they would have to wait a whole day for the weekday crew to come along, assuming the birthday party was on Friday night and not Saturday.
But, they are alone for the moment. Carter surveys the sinking station and has an epiphany. He finally realizes what the sharks wanted:
“Those fences are titanium underneath, but on top they’re just plain steel. They’ve been herding us, pushing us where they want. Using us to flood the facility….That’s the answer to the riddle because that’s what an 8,000lb Mako thinks about. About Freedom. About the Deep Blue Sea.”
Let’s all just take a deep breath before we go on and think about this statement. There are two options here. One, Carter has lost it. His ordeal has left him emotionally scarred and unable to form rational thoughts. Two, he’s right, and the sharks have been doing just that. The first one seems the most plausible but the movie wants us to accept the second. So, let’s examine it.
The sharks knew they could jump over the fence; after all one of them had done just that at the beginning of the movie. But, apparently, the other two weren’t as good athletes (Great White Sharks Can’t Jump – Sequel anyone?). So, the sharks had this plan to force the humans to lower the fence so that they could push through the steel at the top. This means the sharks knew the difference in the tensile strengths of the two parts of the fence. It also means they knew that the only way to bring the fences down was to sink the entire station. This was done merely by observing the station from the outside. This is like not only judging a book by its cover but also being able to read it by looking at its cover, regardless of the language in which it is written.
The sharks’ engineering acumen didn’t stop there. They were able to discern all of the inner workings of the station without being able to see them or having experienced anything remotely similar. They knew the layout of the facility, which areas were connected to which, and were able to guide the humans to the proper areas so that they could further flood the station. Not even the humans who built it had such a complete knowledge.
In addition to having staggering powers of observation that enabled them to know how to sink a facility, the sharks have also mastered human psychology. Without being to observe the humans in the station, they nevertheless were able to know how to push and prod them into doing what they wanted. They were even able to manipulate a guy they had never seen before – Mr. Franklin.
To top it all off, they were working in concert. The sharks were pushing the humans on different levels to achieve their goals. This would mean they had a truly elaborate plan. This would be a plan that they came up with in one night since the fence was raised the day before all the killing started. That, or they were communicating. They were communicating through steel walls, and through water and air. Maybe they had developed telepathy?
Just when you recover from this laughable premise, the movie takes an almost less believable turn. McCallister determines that they have to kill the shark and Carter agrees. WHY??? Why do they have to kill the shark? Is it for revenge? What do they fear? Carter has already shown he can track a shark down anywhere in the world, having done it the prior week. Is the shark going to raise an army? Do they fear it’ll be elected President? How much damage could it possibly do?
As the shark rams its nose into the steel fence some more, Carter reveals a relatively acceptable plan. They fill one of his trusty harpoon darts with explosive powder from the flares and plan on spearing the shark with it then detonating it. Let’s not bother to ask how the flares avoided being too wet or being ignited in the spectacular explosion the night before. Carter shoots the shark, McCallister activates the priming charge. Boom – dead shark. Good plan. Oh, but unfortunately, Carter can’t get close enough.
Luckily, McCallister knows what is necessary – bait. She cuts her hand and jumps into the water and swims towards the shark. Now, sharks have an extraordinary sense of smell, even after repeatedly ramming their noses into steel walls, we can assume. However, to expect the shark to notice her blood after it had just mangled Preacher is ludicrous. She clearly has forgotten that her part of the plan is to ignite the explosive. If her plan to be bait works, how does she plan on touching the wire to the positive?
Plus, why would the shark bother? Its intricate plan to sink the entire station has come to fruition. It is almost free to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting shark-vulnerable world. We see it making a hole in the fence, pushing its head through as its super tough skin is not even scratched by the jagged steel barbs against which it’s rubbing. It shouldn’t be hungry. In the past 24 hours it has eaten 1/3 a tiger shark, half of Franklin, all of Higgins, most of Scoggs, and some of Preacher’s leg. And yet, it can’t resist. It turns and goes towards McCallister. She tries to climb out of the water, but the shoddy construction of Aquatica claims its final victim. She falls back into the water, and the shark swims up to her, comes to a dead stop somehow, regards her with its good eye, and then gobbles her up. It looks like hammering a steel fence with its face was just the thing to give it the strength it needed to break her in half after not being able to do anything to Preacher.
Carter attempts to save McCallister by diving into the water. He makes certain, though, to leave his harpoon behind. At this stage, he must just want to engage the shark in some good old fashioned fisticuffs. Only Carter knows why he didn’t bother to shoot the shark on its way towards McCallister.
Chapter 18: 89:52-End
Carter tries to climb up the same way that McCallister did, and he also fails (slipping in water for the last time). He falls back in the water and sees the shark moving towards him. Carter is able to dodge the bite of the shark, flip, and grab onto its dorsal fin. The shark swims around trying to lose Carter, but he hangs on. Preacher comes to and grabs Carter’s harpoon gun. He fires and hits the shark’s fin, but also spears Carter’s leg. Carter tells him to detonate the charge anyway. The shark pushes through the fence, brushing Carter off, and Preacher connects the wire to the battery, causing a huge explosion and killing the shark. Carter swims back to Preacher and they laugh as they see the boat for the week shift approaching. The movie ends with an overhead shot of the ruined station as it fades to credits.
Remarkably, this is the one part of the movie that doesn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. Sure, it’s far-fetched that Carter could play chicken with the shark and end up on the fin, but it’s within the realm of possibility. That is saying a lot, given the previously laughable plot points in the film. It’s a little uncertain as to how Preacher was up on the plan that Carter and McCallister had drafted, since he was asleep during that discussion. Or maybe he had had it with white people and was just playing possum to get out of trying to kill the shark. It would seem the latter, as he says the shot is for Scoggs, who is easily the most urban of the crew. He also shouts in elation when he blows up the shark and presumably Carter also. He does seem somewhat pleased to see Carter alive, however.
The movie ends with the day crew showing up in the boat. They are all waving in a manner that suggests they had a great time on the shore surviving the landfall of the tropical depression, and can’t wait to tell everyone. They must have thought the lack of communication from Brenda not to be an issue, and the still burning fires and sinking station a trivial matter.
The main loss is that the sharks didn’t escape in the end because I’m positive they could have made a better movie.