It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Sharks, it is said, are all teeth and muscle, and have been doing two things very efficiently for millions of years: moving and eating. "Deep Blue Sea'' resembles a shark. It moves ceaselessly, and someone gets eaten from time to time.
The movie is a skillful thriller directed by Renny Harlin, who made "Die Hard 2'' and "Cutthroat Island,'' and here assembles a neat package of terror, sharks and special effects. That isn't as easy as it sounds. After slogging through the predictability of countless would-be action thrillers, I admired the sheer professionalism of this one, which doesn't transcend its genre, but at least honors it.
The premise: A scientist (Saffron Burrows) has devised a way to use the brain tissue of sharks to cultivate a substance that might be useful in fighting Alzheimer's disease. A big corporation underwrites the research, and maintains a deep-sea station with shark corrals and underwater living and research areas. One of the sharks escapes and tries to eat a boat. The head of the corporation (Samuel L. Jackson) pays a visit to the station and meets the other key characters, including a shark wrangler (Thomas Jane), a Bible-quoting cook (LL Cool J), and crew members including Jacqueline McKenzie, Michael Rapaport, Stellan Skarsgard and Aida Turturro.
Some of these characters turn up on the shark menu, although the timing and manner of their ingestion is often so unexpected that I'll say nothing more. The shark attacks are intercut with a desperate escape plot, after storms and explosions incapacitate the station and the characters are trapped below the waterline in areas threatened by water pressure and sharks.