Having reviewed Deep Blue Sea 2 in July, i was surprised to see another one pop up into existence a month ago. Thankfully, an UK DVD release also rapidly appeared a week ago, i imported it, so here we are.
While i was kinda disappointed with the second one, it was more due to that movie having to follow after the original Deep Blue Sea, still one of the best shark movies. By now it’s clear this is just another series of shark movies based around the idea of genetically enhanced sharks, with no continuity between them, and a budget far lower than the original, while still pretty high for most shark movie peddlers that play it low as possible as to cynically bottle the “so bad its good” lightning, by now pretty much non-existent as there is no difference between parody and shit.
The plot this time centers about the tiny artificial island of Little Happy (not made of giant goldfish excrements, thankfully), situated in the Mozambique Channel and home to a marine nursery, where enviromentalists, led by Emma (bent on continuing her’s father heritage and mission) are researching the effects of climate change on the great white sharks that annually come there to feed, mate, and give birth.
Trouble is afoot when a team of scientists (including Emma’s ex-boyfriend) arrive to hunt for three bull sharks that have apparently butchered people in the nearby fishing village, and aren’t normal sharks, having been birthed by Bella, a female shark genetically modified to be smarter and deadlier, and clearly having inherited their mother’s taste for blood and her enhancements.
And yes, this is actually a sequel to Deep Blue Sea 2, as they refer to the mother shark called Bella, they track her “baby” bull sharks to the Akhelios led by Carl Durant (the pharma tycoon of the previous movie), and they directly connected the two movies. They also kinda try to retroactively imply that the events of the first movie happened as well, in order to further tie this up as the final film in the series (we’ll see about that), or at least give some sense of closure to it.
This retroactive retcon is less believable than i would it to be, but i don’t blame the writers, since clearly none of this was planned beforehand, so they didn’t pre-emptively account for sequels that could and couldn’t happen, and i have seen much worse. You can go with it and enjoy the movie as it’s own thing anyway, which is almost better because, in regards to tone, this is more akin to the first Deep Blue Sea, more down to earth, without pharma tycoons that “Elon Musk-ed” and wanted to make the “computer learning karate sequence” from the TV show “Chuck” real. For reasons.
Decent, likeable characters, by a mostly unknown but competent cast, Deep Blue Sea 3 also manages to keep the formula relatively fresh by avoid going the “sealab” route with the setting, by tackling themes of enviromentalism, climate change and corporate oppression, not being subtle with them, but also not being overbearing. Decent fin-less villains help to make it more interesting, and have some fun action sequences (and some surprisingly well timed shark attacks that are not that obvious to see coming). Alongside some stand out moments like the shark fishing a fisher back, and the amazing “human assist to shark decapitation”, the latter one that has been doing the rounds on social media, deservedly so, it’s memorable, fun and over to the top just enough.
From a technical standpoint, Deep Blue Sea 3 upholds the series’s standard, still offering some of the best CG sharks and overall production values, very good, especially for the sub-genre and considering this is a direct-to-video/streaming release, the only better crafted sharks are to be found in the increasingly rare big, very big Hollywood productions intended for the big screen.
Definitely one of the “good ones” that i would recommend even to people that don’t breathe flying zombie sharks, poop monsters and talking vaginas.
I don’t expect this to be the last one, i would welcome another one in two years, but for Deep Blue Sea 4 they will have to either “reboot it” or do something else, because there’s no sequel bait, this has actual closure to the story.