So what do you do when you’re making a killer Shark movie but don’t have the budget for a lot of killer shark carnage? You fill the movie up with a lot of characters talking, and walking around, and talking, and explaining and arguing and pretending there’s some kind of conflict here. Say what you want about “Deep Blue Sea” but it had genuine killer shark carnage that, while silly, still featured killer sharks. “Deep Blue Sea 2,” however, does everything in its power to avoid showing killer sharks–even though they’re the basis for the entire movie.
Dr. Misty Calhoun, a shark conservationist is hired as a consultant on a top-secret project on genetically-enhanced sharks, funded by pharmaceutical billionaire Carl Durant. Taken aboard a sea bound laboratory, the crew gradually realizes that the genetically bred sharks are learning and adapting to their underwater surroundings. Though they think they’re controlled, the highly intelligent super-sharks turn on their masters and begin to pick them off, hunting them one by one.
If you took the majority of “Deep Blue Sea 2” and cut out all the filler, at best you’d have a somewhat decent forty five minute killer shark movie. But we’re instead left with a goofy “Jurassic Park” rip off where enthusiasts of Sharks are invited on to a top secret facility by an ailing billionaire who is both excited and horrified that his experiments are learning and evolving. Instead there isn’t a whole lot of characters to care for, as just about everyone are just cannon fodder that we know are going to die eventually. When we do see the characters die awful deaths, most of it completely off screen with the sharks hidden under the water. At least Renny Harlin’s original movie had the balls to provide some genuinely fun shark carnage, despite the dodgy special effects.
Most of the characters here are just talking heads shouting at one another (Danielle Savre tries her best with what she’s got), all the while Michael Beach as Durant just basically antagonizes everyone about studying the sharks, and insisting that he’s close to cracking some kind of formula involving medicine or something. He’s also terrified of machines and technology for reasons never quite clarified. I had a tough time following the unnecessarily convoluted premise. How do Durant and Trent control the sharks with their beacon? Are the sharks robotic or genetically enhanced? Why didn’t Durant anticipate his main shark giving birth? There are so many better killer shark movies out there worth your time; “Deep Blue Sea 2” is just dull, junky straight to video fodder.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, the release gets a great series of Bells and Whistlers. There’s the twelve minute “Returning to the Deep: Making Deep Blue Sea 2,” which features an extensive series of interviews with the cast and crew, and a look at the effects and stunts. This is filled with spoilers. “Deep Blue Sea 2: Death by Shark” is a six minute extension of the making of focusing on individual death scenes. More spoilers included. There’s a three minute Gag Reel, which is a fancy term used loosely as it mainly is just candid footage of the cast horsing around between takes. Finally, there are four minutes of deleted scenes, all of which have to be seen in one lump, and aren’t given the option to play individually. I couldn’t find an apology from the producers for subjecting us to this.