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George At 

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Deep Blue Sea

When it comes to water based thrillers, DEEP BLUE SEA is way out of its depth.

On the cusp of a scientific discovery that will end Alzheimer's, a group of scientists working with Shark's brains finds themselves bending the rules to get the results they need to continue funding.

Saffron Burrows is Dr. McAlester, better with a motivational speech than following moral guidelines. She is seen escorting drug company owner Russell Franklin (Samuel L. Jackson) back to their ocean set research facility as the film opens.

I've seen Jackson excel in nearly ever role ever handed him, but I have to say he is horrible here, badly miscast and unable to save a poorly written character.

They should have harvested the super sharks brains for screenwriting ability as this is one of the worst written films I've ever seen. The punchlines are groaners, the serious dialogue is filled with eye-roll worthy duds and the everyday dialogue will be foreign to most humans as we really dont talk like these stock characters act.

Thomas Jane looks the part but is rather bland as bad boy hero Carter Blake, Stellan Skaarsgard is wasted as a troubled scientific genius and LL Cool J is best in cast as a preacher/cook with a gift for swimming faster than these huge predators.

The film doesn't make a point that he can swim that fast, it just appears so due to bad continuity errors. In one scene the massive sharks move 100 yards in less than two seconds to attack but when they are chasing our troubled clergy/chef, they swim in a leisurely doe-see-doe that barely generates suspense.

Renny Harlin has made some decent, brainless action pics, including a few I've really enjoyed, like "Die Hard 2" and "Clifhanger".

There are a couple great scenes, including Jackson's last speech so rudely interrupted, a "Poseidon Adventure" climb up a vertical shaft with sharks circling beneath and a tragic helicopter evacuation.

Think about "Jaws". Spielberg barely showed you the shark for the first hour plus, and when he did, it was in glimpses. Harlin beats you over the head with his massive killer beasts, letting one of his characters RIDE ONE in the first ten minutes. Kind of takes the edge off....

Harlin is no Spielberg, that's painfully obvious.

But you have to give the man credit, he stages some of the best explosions I've ever seen here, topping his Lighter/gasoline/exploding 747 in Die Hard 2 and equaling the Nakatomi Tower blasts from "Die Hard" and even Largo's yacht explosion at the conclusion of OO7's water bound adventure, "Thunderball".

Unfortunately, when the smoke clears after those massive fireballs, there's very little to see.

Deep Blue Sea gets a painfully shallow D.

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