DEEP BLUE SEA 3 (2020)
Directed by John Pogue
Written by Dirk Blackman
Starring Tania Raymonde, Nathaniel Buzolic, Emerson Brooks, Bren Foster, Reina Aoi, Alex Bhat, Ernest St.Clair, Siya Mayola, DeVille Vannik, Brashaad Mayweather
Well, having seen both DEEP BLUE SEA 2 and 3 in the same 24 hours, I know which one I’d watch again. DEEP BLUE SEA 3 by a mile.
DEEP BLUE SEA 3 seems to not only clean up the plot mess of DEEP BLUE SEA 2, but also tries to salvage the reputation of the shark attack series. The series shifts to a fishing community off the coast of Africa which used to be a flourishing city, but now is the home of only a handful of locals and a pair of underwater conservationists. One of them, Dr. Emma Collins (TEXAS CHAINSAW and LOST’s Tania Raymonde) who like her counterparts Saffron Burrows from DEEP BLUE SEA and Danielle Savre from DEEP BLUE SEA 2, also looks pretty hot in a wetsuit—that must be a requirement to get those doctorate distinctions. Collins is passionate about preserving the coral reef and all of the ocean-life in it, depicted liveblogging about it as she swims through the depths and has peaceful encounters with all of the fishes and even a few overly friendly sharks. When the surviving sharks from DEEP BLUE SEA 2 show up at the community, a tugboat with a cleanup crew manages to kill the mother of the mini-sharks. Now fully grown, three smart-sharks remain and begin to terrorize the few remaining inhabitants of the island. Wouldn’t you know it, the corporate clean-up crew are swarthy bastards and Collins, her bodyguard and Marine Eugene (Emerson Brooks), and the rest of the people of the small community must band together to take on them and the sharks.
One can immediately notice the difference in quality as the film, while still not the greatest of budgets, at least tries to tell a different story. The floating community, like the underwater base begins to take on water and sink, just as in the original and the lame sequel, but the shift in setting is different enough to cause some interesting and new challenges. One of which is that this is a common people vs. corporation story as some of the people have only lived on this floating barge all their lives and have never lived in civilization, while the giant boat of the cleanup crew represents the overblown corporate entity. It’s not a new or groundbreaking theme, but at least there is some kind of subtext compared to the completely surface level previous film.
The acting is about the same. The lead, Tania Raymonde, is solid and better than the entire cast of the previous one. But overall, everyone does a decent job and there really isn’t an unlikable cast member in the bunch. There is an especially fun faceoff between Eugene (who sort of acts like Jorah Mormont to his Daenerys—Raymonde, if we are talking GAME OF THRONES terms) and one of the pirates where they drop their weapon and go hand to hand while the sharks are swimming around them. It’s dumb fun, but fun nevertheless.
The direction is much more proficient than DEEP BLUE SEA 2. Renny Harlin was able to time some great and inventive jump scares, including the famous Samuel L. Jackson speech. Director John Pogue is not in the same league as Harlin, but is able to setup one or two very shocking and knee-slapping scares that are comparable, but again, different than the original. One scene in particular is extremely well done and will be a crowd pleaser. The sharks look pretty good and again, there are some tense scenes as well as a sizable amount of gore. At least this one doesn’t have tiny sharks eating folks for the bulk of the film. Since I said DEEP BLUE SEA 2 was the JAWS 3 of the DEEP BLUE SEA trilogy, I’ll say DEEP BLUE SEA 3 is the JAWS 2—familiar but still rather fun and bordering on the wild and watchable side of goofy. While you can’t beat the original, DEEP BLUE SEA 3 is a worthy follow-up and is a fun timewaster of a shark attack flick!