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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

[Review] ‘Deep Blue Sea 3’ Delivers Charming Action-Horror With Big Dumb Shark Fun

Renny Harlin’s 1999 big-budget feature, Deep Blue Sea, reintroduced the shark to the summer blockbuster with grand spectacle and a heavy emphasis on action. Its direct-to-home release sequel, Deep Blue Sea 2, released in 2018 without much fanfare or critical praise, though the genetically enhanced sharks achieved something the preceding sharks could not – escape captivity to hunt in the open ocean. While the latest entry in this aquatic action-horror franchise continues part two’s dangling shark plot thread, it attempts to course correct and capture the original film’s sense of epic-scaled entertainment.

Deep Blue Sea 3 stars Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw 3DLost) as Emma Collins, a marine biologist studying the effects of climate change on great white sharks with her team on the tiny, abandoned island of Little Happy. Along with the last two residents of this crumbling fishing village, they’re forced into a battle for survival with the arrival of Deep Blue Sea 2’s escaped bull sharks and the scientific team – led by Emma’s ex, Richard (Nathaniel Buzolic)- tasked with recapturing them.

Directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2: The TerminalThe Quiet Ones) and written by Dirk Blackman (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans), Deep Blue Sea 3 doesn’t waste much time getting straight to the shark fun. The audience is given just enough of an overview of the little shanty island, which looks so unstable that you know it’ll provide decent fodder for shark destruction later. Emma’s idyllic studies of the great whites and gorgeous, serene dive sequences are almost immediately interrupted when she finds their recently ravaged carcasses in the sharks’ nursery. The arrival of the scientific team works to ramp up the tension and deliver exposition for those that skipped past the previous film. These genetically enhanced bull sharks are bad news, but so is the amoral and authoritarian team sent to retrieve them.

From the dialogue to the overwrought drama between Emma and her ex, this sequel makes no pretense about what type of film it’s aiming to be. It’s the precise type of cheese you’d expect from a Syfy original, but with a slicker coat of polish. While Pogue has his actors play it straight, it’s quickly apparent that the sole intent here is to bring big dumb shark fun. He goes for broke in over the top action sequences and death scenes, while giving a new spin on the most memorable moments from the original film. In other words, Deep Blue Sea 3 seems to desperately want to ignore its predecessor by paying homage to the first film.

There are big explosions, sinking houses, and plenty of shark bait to chum the waters. This setting, or more accurately the script, doesn’t allow for much tension the way the original film did. The tiny village doesn’t contain any long corridors or claustrophobic set pieces that allowed the aquatic villains to stalk prey unnervingly. Instead, while there are a few dive sequences that come close to evoking the same level of terror, Pogue goes all-in on a continuous ramp-up of the action. The more it barrels toward and through the climax, the more outlandish it gets. Entrails float, blood paints the town red, and things get silly. At least one death left this writer cackling for a long while after.

By conventional standards, Deep Blue Sea 3 couldn’t be called a good movie. The shark effects are about as realistic as they were in 1999, the dialogue is schlocky, and the setup is just as hokey. The thing is, none of that matters much if you’re having a good time. Deep Blue Sea 3 never bothers attempting to get deep with its characters or its plot, because it’s not that kind of movie. This movie is pure summer entertainment; it’s akin to watching one of those Six Flags’ amusement park stunt shows that unleashed pyrotechnics and mayhem over water. You didn’t go to those for the script; they provided a nice respite from standing in lengthy ride queues by way of whiz-bang theatrics.

If you prefer your shark horror with serious bite, or Deep Blue Sea induced severe eye-rolls, then the third entry won’t win you over. Just keep swimming along. However, if you have a weakness for sharks and don’t mind some tongue-in-cheek humor with your aquatic horror, Deep Blue Sea 3 serves up a surprisingly charming action spectacle. You may not remember too much about it after, but it’s an easily digestible thrill ride while it lasts. It’s escapism at its silliest, paired best with pizza, beer, and a (virtual) crowd. 

Deep Blue Sea 3 swims onto Digital on July 28, Blu-ray and DVD on August 25, 2020.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3624126/review-deep-blue-sea-3-goes-off-deep-end-big-dumb-shark-fun-embargoed-7-22/

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