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Deep Rising (1998)

DVD Cover (Walt Disney Studios)
Genres:
Creature Film, Sci-Fi Action, Sci-Fi Horror, Science Fiction
Director:
Stephen Sommers Stephen Sommers
Starring:
Treat Williams Treat Williams
Famke Janssen Famke Janssen
Anthony Heald Anthony Heald
Kevin J. O'Connor Kevin J. O'Connor
Wes Studi Wes Studi

5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 11, 2006
In tonight's film, director Stephen Sommers brings us his typical style of formulaic, big-budgeted and effects-laden cinema, and this time, he decides to throw in some sea monsters. It all kicks off with three groups of people out in the middle of the ocean off the coast of China, where (as some on-screen text informs us) three ships have mysteriously vanished. The first "group" consists of one Simon Canton (Anthony Heald), a ship captain who has just created the worlds largest and most expensive luxury liner and, along with several hundred extremely rich folks, is taking it out on its maiden voyage. The second group is led by John Finnegan (Treat Williams), a freelance boat captain who has quite the unique outlook on his clientèle, that being "If the money's there, we don't care" (as in, "I don't care if you're a group of terrorists who plan to bring a dozen high-powered torpedoes aboard, so long as the check clears"). Along with his grease-monkey buddy Joey Pantucci (Kevin J. O'Connor), Finnegan has brought along group number three out into this ocean, and this group, led by Hanover (Wes Studi), is a fun-loving group of chaps who just want to do some sight-seeing... I mean, they're a group of terrorists with about a dozen high-powered torpedoes who plan to clear out the aforementioned luxury liner of all its valuables before sinking it. The three groups eventually collide aboard this mammoth ship, but things get a bit nasty when its revealed that some huge sea monsters have decided that this ship is nothing more than a serving board for a human buffet. Now, along with a jewel-thief known as Trillian (Famke Janssen) who was also aboard the ship, the humans must figure out a way to get off the ship with their lives... but, did I mention that the smaller boat that the second two groups got there on now has a gaping hole in it?

This is your standard no-brainer action / sci-fi / horror flick. There's plenty of action clichés to be found, such as the good old "hero running from a huge fireball and jumping out of the way just in time" effect (which is used three times here, in fact), and there's more plot-holes than you can shake a stick at. The acting is wooden, the constant barrage of one-liners from Kevin J. O'Connor (who serves as absolutely nothing more than comedic relief) grows tiresome after, oh, five minutes, and honestly, there's only about forty minutes of material to be found in this ninety-plus minute feature. The rest of the time is spent showing off the CGI effects (which look extremely dated), giving Kevin time to drop some one-liners, and rehashing pieces of the plot that have already been done... but strangely, I was slightly entertained by this film.

Granted, the entertainment that I drew from this movie wasn't along the lines of "Wow, what a great movie", but more along the lines of "Whoa, look, an accident... let's slow down for a moment and check it out." On the surface, it's not something that one would admit to enjoying, but be honest; how many of you have stepped on the brake to gawk at someone else's misfortune? That's how I look at this film; it's pretty awful and you feel bad for everyone involved, but still, you can't turn away from it... and strangely enough, there's some enjoyment to be derived from the experience.

Just recently, I finished playing God of War for the PS2 console. The effects in this game, especially during the cut-scenes, are damned nice... but regardless, it still had that "cartoony" look that nearly all games have. I find it a bit funny that the animations in this video game were more realistic than some of the effects found in the movie at hand. When the humans whip out their firearms and start unloading into the beast, the exploding tentacles and gushing blood effects are just laughable. If Jurassic Park can create CGI effects that look completely authentic, I fail to see why, almost six years after that release, big-budget films such as this still can't get something as simple as blood or a huge wave of water to look realistic. There are some scenes that look quite nice (the half-digested fellow looked great), but for the most part, this film is a shining example of why I prefer "real" effects over computer-generated ones.

It's hard to rate a movie such as this. While it's not a good movie by any stretch and I certainly wouldn't advise you readers to head to the video store to pick it up, I will say that it was entertaining for what it was. If you'd like to watch a film that really brings nothing to the table other than some not-so-special effects and which requires you to check your brain at the door, this would be a good place to start. 5/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 04/11/2006, 09:15 PM
I remember when this film tanked at the box office, but I went to see it and enjoyed the hell out of it, much in the same way I enjoyed films like "Congo" and "Virus". Just good old fashioned creature fun, with Treat Williams. 7/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 04/11/2006, 11:20 PM
I just downloaded this movie about 2 days ago, so about a day before this review, which is a coincidence.
Although I found it cheesy, and Treat is anything but, I really enjoyed this one. 8/10
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 07/11/2010, 02:42 AM
This movie was pure cheese and I sadly enjoyed it. 7/10
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