How you do follow up on a movie that actually had a proper ending, without any open subplots left by the end or random sequel bait? The right answer is “you don’t”, but i guess Warner Bros needed to milk some of his forgotten properties, so here we are.
There’s no other reason to make a Deep Blue Sea sequel 19 years apart from the first one, and i don’t know how it worked, since it’s released directly to home video without anyone either caring or knowing this even existed. I had to buy an UK dvd copy, since i guess not even Netflix or Amazon Video cared to have it streaming in my region.
And when i say “sequel”, i mean… that, usually, but this is a perfect, by-the-book academic example of “sequel in name only”, if we ever needed another one to prove any kind of point anymore.
The plot is identical, now we have bull sharks instead of mako sharks (not that it actually matters to the plot), and other people – one of them being a shark conservationist – being accompagned to the billionaire of the pharmauceautical company, NOT played by Samuel Jackson this time, but it doesn’t matter, it’s just superficial stuff, just merely different stuff made for the sake of not being identical to the first movie, but still generic enough regardless.
Now the shark is pregnant, which means her spawns can attack as well and increase the number of sharks, a fairly cheap exploit not even the first one did, and it could have, given it stayed fairly consistent with shark and “b-movies” stuff. But these are details, it’s the same fuckin plot… or so i thought. It’s not a Gus Van Sant style remake, either.
The premise is the same, yes, but it’s kind of reversal, since the sharks manage to sabotage the security systems, de-activating the electrified fences keeping them in, could escape the facility without issues… but they don’t. Yeah, the sharks are so intelligent and resentful that they decide to stay and hunt the humans in the “sealab”, on purpose, like a fuckin slasher villain with fins.
Makes as much sense as the big pharma boss reason for testing drugs that augment base intelligence on the sharks (and then on himself), because he fears the machine taking over mankind in the near future, as AI get smarter and smarter, so we gotta evolve ourselves… by taking drugs that will make you way smarter, yes, but will also triggers laughable visual effects resembling the way Chuck Bartowski learns to do karate on the spot by looking at the PC. Yes, he fears the coming of Skynet, i’m not pulling your leg, he’s that type of maniacal schizoid nutbag, the complete opposite of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the first Deep Blue Sea.
And keeping with the “twists”, this one doesn’t really takes his time, so the first act goes by a bit too swimmingly, too much happens in it, so as a result there really is no time to develop any of the characters that aren’t made just to be future shark chow. And there aren’t that many, odd as it may sound, because the script actually tries to make you care about them, or at least tries to evoke some simpathy, most of the characters aren’t stupid cannon fodder for the shark, but they are just kinda thrown together and before you get to know them, they get eaten by a pack of baby sharks acting like piranhas.
Still makes more sense here than in 3 Headed Shark Attack (where it was kinda counterproductive and alien), but otherwise this is way better, here the characters aren’t stupid, but do stupid things because the script is kinda typical b-movie affair, with the sharks being too smart used more for plot convenience than making them more formidable opponents, as they too make stupid moves when the screenwriter feels like it… or completely forgots one of the characters has a sound device that makes the sharks go away, and you can see said character having this device for all the movie, but never using it again after an early scene made just to show exactly that. Whoops.
Also, i love the ending, it’s so phoned in it’s almost charming, not only for the deus ex machina, but in how said deus ex machina isn’t really that definitive, but hey, the characters (and the cast) wants to go home, and we need to have a somehow surviving shark (along with her swarm of baby sharks) to lunge at the camera at the very end, because old horror B-movie traditions, regardless if we’re making another one or not.
While is a huge, huge downgrade in every single facet compared to the first Deep Blue Sea (it’s almost cruel to compare them), a notably worse version of it, it’s still entertaining for what it is, a direct-to-video “sequel” meant for tv and streaming services, despite the crap script, the downgraded special effects, and the ill coinceived notion that having color coded sections of the underwater facility (which translates to sequences where there’s a red filter, now a green filter on the footage, etc.) is a substitute for style, for reasons. And you can if you care enough.
All in all, is a mediocre b-movie, one that feels like a throwback of sorts to when these movie actually had budgets, the direction given to the actors (which here do try, despite the material being what it is) tried to make the ludicrous plot work in a relatively serious fashion, despite the script being so b-movie it hurts, with a sense of wanting to make it presentable even IF you’re not a big budget production and have fx wizards.
Yeah, it doesn’t have Industrial Lights & Magic working on the effects, but this has actually the budget to make and show animatronic sharks alongside the CG for the baby sharks and some of the gore, it’s way better produced and with more plot than 90% of the modern ones. So yeah, in a way Deep Blue Sea 2 feels like an odd duck, split between an old approach to making shark movie with actual plots, actual actors, and suitable budgets to make the spectacle work, and the modern one, with the last decade of such ludicrous, one note projects that should have remained in the realms of fake trailers and fake movie posters, where there’s no ambition, no budgets or some standards.
Nothing special, crap compared to the original Deep Blue Sea, but definitely on a superior tier of sharkxploitation movies, one that hasn’t much in the way of ideas or quality, and it’s actually watchable for people that might actually want some standards in their trash, and aren’t too keen on the evergrowing heaps of modern, often way too engineered “cult movies by commission” shark shlock.
So i guess see you in 2036 when Warner Bros remembers having this series and cranks out another “sequel but not at all” with Deep Blue Sea 3.