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Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 4/17/2018
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 4/25/2018
There are some none-too-smart people out there who think thatEvil Dead II is a remake of Evil Dead. The second film picks up where the first one ended and continues the story of the main character from the first movie -- Isn't that the definition of a sequel. The setting is the same, but a whole new group of characters show up...as it's a sequel. I swear that I will never understand this misunderstanding. However, there are some sequels which are simply re-tellings of the previous movie. They usher in a different actors who do the exact same things as the people in the first movie did, as they follow a similar story. If you want to see a great example of this, then look no farther than Deep Blue Sea 2.
Dr. Misty Calhoun (Danielle Savre) is an expert on shark conservation, so she's surprised when she's invited to a mysterious meeting with pharmaceutical giant Carl Durant (Michael Beach). Things get even weirder when she arrives at the meeting to find scientists Daniel (Jeremy Boado) and Leslie Kim (Kim Syster) have received a similar summons. This group is taken to an ocean-bound laboratory, where they meet Durant and Trent Slater (Rob Mayes), who oversees the operation. They soon learn that Durant is working on a drum which will increase the power of the human brain, thus making people smarter than computers. And, of course, he's testing this drug on bull sharks, who are known for their ferocity. The good news is that Durant's drug works. The bad news is that it's made the sharks highly intelligent and they've decided that it's time to seek revenge on their captors. Will anyone escape this underwater buffet?
Sharks had appeared in movies before, but 1975's Jaws not only created the summer blockbuster, but it set a template for shark movies which has never been replicated. Of the many shark films which have emerged since that time (including three Jaws sequels), 1999's Deep Blue Sea is one of the better entries, given it's unique setting and devil-may-care attitude. Aside from that, we mostly get SyFy Channel offerings which hope that cruddy CG sharks and pointless stories will suffice.
And now, 19 years later, Deep Blue Sea 2 comes along...and it is clearly hoping that its target audience will have either forgotten about the original movie or have never seen, as it is pretty much a remake of Deep Blue Sea, as the plot and plot-structure as basically the same. But, there are some key differences here. For example, this movie is clearly working with a lower budget, as the set is much, much smaller. The part above the water is tiny compared to the first movie and one can't help but assume that once the actors enter the shed, it doesn't go anywhere. The lab is similar to the one seen in the first movie, but I got the feeling that the various corridors were simply being recycled over and over. The sharks here are mostly CG and the effects lack in detail.
However, if one must truly dive into Deep Blue Sea 2 (pun intended), one must look at the story. As noted above, Durant wants to develop a brain enhancing drug and decided to perform the research on sharks...but he never explains why it must be sharks. There must have been a list of hundreds of animals which would be safer. Squirrels? Armadillos? Something. And then we have the fact that Durant is experimenting on himself and when he does so, he sees chemical compounds and Matrix-like numbers. What? But, the coup de grace in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes when two characters are talking and the camera pans to reveal that a shark is at the window, apparently eavesdropping. I almost fell off of the sofa from laughing. The question of whether or not sharks can stop swimming aside, are sharks known for listening in on conversations? I kept waiting for her to put a glass to the window. They also never explain why the sharks were taught to swim in formation or how Trent's clicker makes them behave. Someone behind the camera must have kept saying, "Don't worry, the audience won't care" during the making of this movie.
Deep Blue Sea was a minor hit and not long after its release, rumors began swirling that "Deep Red Sea" was in development and that it would involve sharks invading a flooded town. Even an attempt at that story would have been better than what we get with Deep Blue Sea 2. Once one realizes that this is a remake of the first movie, we sit and wait for key scenes to arrive, robbing the movie of any suspense. Of course, the brain-dead plot and the fact that this eventually devolves into a Piranha rip-off doesn't help. The world is already littered with lousy shark movies. Did we really need another one?
Deep Blue Sea 2 convinced me that sharks are nosey on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 20 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no noticeable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good and the image is never overly dark or bright. The depth is good and the picture has an overall crispness to it, but his level of detail also makes some of the CG look questionable. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 20 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The action sequences produce a nice mix of surround and subwoofer effects, which certainly attempt to give the scenes some impact. There are some occasional detailed sounds in the rear channels, while the front channels highlight things coming from off-screen.
The Deep Blue Sea 2 Blu-ray Disc contains a handful of extra features. "Returning to the Deep, Making Deep Blue Sea 2" (12 minutes) makes the mistake of opening with clips from the first movie. The second mistake comes when people talk about having an original idea for the sequel. (When is that movie going to be made?) From there, we comments from the cast and crew, and some footage from the set. "Deep Blue Sea 2, Death by Shark" (7 minutes) has the actors talking about their death scenes. The Disc contains four DELETED SCENES which run about 5 minutes. Finally, we get a 3-minute GAG REEL.
Review Copyright 2018 by Mike Long