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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review: Deep Blue Sea 3

Director: John Pogue

Screenplay: Dirk Blackman 

Year: 2020

“Deep Blue Sea” is one of the most recognized shark movies in horror cinema after the classic “Jaws” or the widely distributed “The Meg”. The plot of this movie brought an original idea for its time (1999) and, although it has its share of issues that I might dive deeper at some other time, the movie is tense and fun. However, three movies with a similar concept and a moment in time where an abundant stream of shark movies exist, it is easy to think that it has run its course. 

In “Deep Blue Sea 3”, a group of researchers spends their third consecutive summer in a small floating island studying the effects of climate change in sharks. Their research gets disrupted when a group of scientists arrives at the small semi-uninhabited island looking for three bull sharks. The behavior of these sharks is nothing like what the researchers know, and quickly figure out that these are not ordinary sharks.  

I was already prepared to encounter a disaster of a movie, but I must recognize that the experience was not as bad as I had expected. Of course, the plot is still silly and the science questionable, but it ends up being much more entertaining than what I had anticipated. Maybe this is a benefit of having low expectations or merit of the story of screenwriter Dirk Blackman (“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”), that manages to overcome its technical aspects, like unpolished dialogues.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this movie is full of CGI images that, in some moments do not look so bad, but in most cases are evident. The director John Pogue (“Quarantine 2: Terminal”) chooses to present the visuals using saturated colors and slightly granular that give it a vintage look, but whose primary purpose seems to be to blend the CGI images easier. This decision proves to be helpful in this endeavor, but still, the CGI is evident and much more so in shark scenes, some of which look shameful. 

During most of the plot, we follow Dr. Emma Collins (Tania Raymonde; “Texas Chainsaw”) and her crew, all part of a research group. Although the acting is not one of the movie’s strength, they are not decisive for its enjoyment and in general, the characters are interesting. Maybe the nature of Dr. Collins is the one who is harder to empathize with since to make the character feel strong and empowered, it comes our as aggressive and prepotent. As well as with the climate change topic, the female empowerment topic is thrown at the viewer at every given chance, diminishing the importance that both issues deserve.

“Deep Blue Sea 3” is in no position to put itself among the best shark movies, but it is much more fun than expected. The topic of the genetically modified sharks is recycled in a silly plot, with questionable science, and many plot holes, but shouldn’t be given much thought. The lack of subtlety for presenting its themes and the excessive use of CGI can scare some viewers off, but, without being wonderful, its plot and rhythm accomplish its purpose of being fun and leave some creative deaths along the way.

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