So, today was the first day of SyFy’s final Sharknado week. Leading up to next Sunday’s premiere of The Last Sharknado, SyFy is not only going to be rebroadcasting some of their classic shark films but they’re also going to be premiering a new film every night of the week.
(I’m in Killer Shark Heaven! Yes, the real one…)
They got things started tonight with Deep Blue Sea 2.
Now, before anything else, I should clarify that Deep Blue Sea 2 made its television premiere tonight but the movie itself has actually been out for a while. As opposed to the Sharknado films, Deep Blue Sea 2 was not specifically produced for or by the SyFy Network. Instead, the production honors go to Warner Bros, the same company that distributed the first Deep Blue Sea. Way back in April, Deep Blue Sea 2 was released on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and VOD and it actually did quite well for a straight-to-video release. There were enough fans of the original film that the sequel was able to rank in the top 10 of VOD releases for two straight weeks.
So, Deep Blue Sea 2 was not produced by the Asylum. Perhaps it would have been better if it had been.
Deep Blue Sea 2 retells the basic story of Deep Blue Sea, just on a much smaller level. Whereas Deep Blue Sea featured an army of big, scary sharks, the sequel features one really big shark and a bunch of baby sharks, all of which are cute but deadly. Whereas the first film was distinguished by detailed set design that gave the underwater laboratory a lived-in feel, the sequel features a lab that is frequently so dark and underlit that I often had a hard time distinguishing one actor from another. Whereas the first film features recognizable actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Stellan Skarsgard getting eaten by sharks, the sequel features a cast that, with the exception of Michael Beach, is largely unknown.
And while the entire cast is undeniably talented and does the best that they can with what they’ve been given to work with, everyone in the film is playing a type. Michael Beach is Durant, the pharmaceutical billionaire who, despite what happened in the first film, is breeding super intelligent sharks and drinking their blood. (You read that right.) Danielle Savre is Misty Calhoun, the shark conservationist who thinks that mankind is to blame for all the troubles in the world. Rob Mayes is Trent Slater, the Navy SEAL who knows how to fight sharks. Nathan Lynn is Aaron, the nerdy virgin computer guy. Kim Syster and Jeremy Jess Boado are the obviously doomed married couple. Darron Myer is the guy who you know is going to die as soon as you notice that he doesn’t take off his tie, even when he’s in an underwater lab. And then you have Cameron Robertson as the guy who sticks his arm down a shark’s throat and Adrian Collins as the diver who thinks it’s a good idea to taunt sharks that can literally jump out of the water and bite your head off.
Of course, as soon as everyone’s in the lab, the super smart sharks rebel and the majority of the cast ends up getting eaten. There’s no big shock there. Some of the gore effects are well-done. Faces are ripped off with panache and one unfortunate victim falls apart as soon as he’s pulled out of the water. Michael Beach has a lot of fun with the role of the ranting Durant and it was impossible not to smile whenever he would smirk off Misty’s outrage. For the most part, though, Deep Blue Sea 2 moved too slowly and didn’t feature enough shark action. That said, I think this is the first shark film that I’ve ever seen in which the sharks actually growl at people and that’s got to be worth something.