Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index


Directed by Remmy Harlin (1999, Warner Bros.)
Starring Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ice Cube

Genetically engineered sharks turn on their masters after a hurricane disables the aquatic complex.



0 stars

October 1st, 1999 in the Theatre  

After this one, the guy in the seat behind me turned to his friend and said, "That was a good comedy".  I assume he meant comedy as in laughable, but not funny.  This was so bad, but I had wanted to see it. No amount of poor reviews could prepare me for how bad this movie actually was. 

For one thing, a larger brain doesn't mean larger intellect, or more intelligence.  And even if the "side effect" of the larger brain is that "the sharks have grown smarter", that doesn't translate into knowledge, or experience.  For example, the sharks hunt the humans.  Fine.  They learn to hunt in packs, because that's more efficient.  Fine.  But they know that if you flood a large complex that it will overstress its moorings and begin to sink, making them free?  I don't think so.  Not unless the scientists have been giving them lessons in structural mechanics. 

The things these sharks do are akin to what an "evil human" would do, because a human has the knowledge and experience.  A shark would not know that you can cut off the path of a human by taking a different fork in a passageway, and heading him off.  Unless, of course, the shark could read the maps on the walls, I guess.

Another thing that I couldn't stand was the way the actual danger part of the story was set up.  The hurricane thing has been used before -in Jurassic Park.  That's fine, I guess.  But the Aquatica installation was a former military fueling station for submarines.  But it is almost completely destroyed by a single helicopter crashing into it.  I guess that's why it was abandoned.

And the writers, as always, don't know a thing about physics.  If the pressure is equivalent to 240 feet of water on one side of a door, and atmospheric pressure on the other, what are the chances of even five or six people being able to open that door?  I have to admit, though, that it did provide for some neat special effects when they did get the door open.  And why did the electricity stop running right after the shark was electrocuted?  There must have been excellent conductivity in that salt water when the girl plunged that cable into the shark's mouth.  It would have been neat to see the whole complex light up!

In all, there were the usual terrifying moments, when the sharks jump up and kill or try to kill the people (and the parrot).  But as usual in these types of movies, the sharks only appear when they are needed, or at the most inconvenient time, the water floods areas only when people are around to be flooded, steel fatiguing is only heard when somebody says something stupid, like "there's the way out!", and many of the people are just too stupid or single-minded to be real.


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