There has been a lot missing from the summer movie calendar given what’s going on in the world with COVID right now. Release dates are being shuffled, and here in early August there hasn’t been a big summer movie to speak of. Shark movies are a known staple in the summer theaters and while that isn’t an option at the moment in a lot of places, “Deep Blue Sea 3” attempts to feed that need on VOD.
I enjoyed the fun adventure the original delivered back in ’99. Harlin was capable behind the camera and with the charm and screen presence of names like Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, L.L. Cool J., Michael Rappaport, and Stellan Skarsgård turned the over-the-top plot-line into a wild ride. But that was a long time ago. Yet somehow the saga continues in this straight-to-video sequel.
The story is set in beautiful Mozambique on this small island fishing village. A group of marine biologists headed by Emma (Tania Raymonde) are studying the effects of climate change. It seems like a normal mission in paradise carried out by pretty people in small amounts of clothing. But there is a problem. The genetically enhanced bull sharks from the last sequel will wreak havoc on this island as they are hungry for humans.
Now I won’t sit here and tell you this was a riveting film filled with compelling story layers. Because it wasn’t. It was a flawed film in many facets. However, there still is some fun to be had with this one if you watch it correctly. Meaning with some drinks, and some family or friends around so you can converse about what you are watching while chuckling at some of the more ridiculous moments. This is a good movie for a virtual screening with friends which I certainly think will subside the moments of overacting and forced dialogue.
This movie was a blend of the original “Deep Blue Sea” and “Sharknado”. It’s clear the movie is taking itself seriously in places. It attempts to be melodramatic at times. It tries to hit emotional beats with sincerity. None of which really land with much impact due to the writing and the delivery from the performers. Some of the more dramatic moments between the characters unintentionally comes off on the side of amusing, which is something that we’ve all seen before in B-movies. But I will say the cast all put in some effort and were not at all mailing in their performances. They just didn’t have the best material to work with.
The backdrop is tropical and appealing, so it does offer a bit of a visual escape. The story itself isn’t the most compelling and parts of it don’t make much sense. Characters also make a lot of contrived decisions to maneuver the story where it’s needed, but overall, it wasn’t horrible. It does deliver some entertaining shark-moments. There were also a couple sequences that were nicely shot which did create some enjoyable tension. They were brief moments, but nun the less, I found a collection of scenes to be enjoyable.
The ridiculousness in the variety of shark kills is over-the-top at times and more simplistic in others. So, for a film that delivers a story which doesn’t really capture the imagination, the appeal of waiting for the next person to get eaten does deliver some fun. The special-effects are what you would expect for the budget. The production-design helps a little, although things were too clean and tidy visually which felt a bit unauthentic. The characters as well were consistently pristine while at the same time trying to appear beaten and battered, and it does give the film a made-for-tv vibe.
But it has its splashes of charming violence. It doesn’t do anything new in the genre, but if you’re in the mood for some shark action, this is an option. The run-time is a little long at 99 minutes and it does drag. But like I said with a group of people online during a watch party, or with some family and a steady flow of alcohol there is some entertainment to be had. As something to devote your complete attention too, I would say not so much.