Directed by: Renny Harlin
Starring: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, LL Cool J
There’s something comforting about 90’s big-budget horror movies. They stick to this formula that they’ve perfected so stringently, you always know exactly what’s going to happen, so there’s always this semi-playful attitude beneath the whole affair. Of course, this was made in 1999, so they start playing with the audience’s expectations a little bit, which is what launched us into the 2000’s era of “ironic” big budget horror movies, where they think that reversing one thing about a standard formula movie makes it suddenly brilliant and new.
Samuel L. Jackson visits his company’s shark brain testing laboratory, where they’ve been making sharks smarter in an effort to cure alzheimer’s. Naturally, instead the smart sharks use their newfound intelligence to hunt down and eat every one of the scientists that were left behind during a hurricane. In the end, it comes down to the “badass” shark killer, the shrill scientist lady who parades around in her underwear, and the religious cook, lovingly played by LL Cool J.
They manage to kill off Sam Jackson pretty early on in this movie, and as soon as that happens, there’s really no more impetus to watch the thing. I do appreciate that he plays a guy who can actually take command of the situation and knows what to do, and as soon as he steps up he gets eaten, but still. Of course I want to see Sam Jackson fighting sharks, not Thomas Jane. The guy doesn’t even have a real name, for fuck’s sake.