Time: 105 mins.
I, like most people scared out of the water by JAWS, have been waiting for another film about sharks to be as horrifyingly entertaining. After watching this adrenaline over-loaded bloodfest, I'm still waiting. I first tried watching this film on a transatlantic flight, hoping it would be an exciting way to pass the time. It went from merely implausible to completely ridiculous in a matter of minutes, so much so that I didn't even bother to see how it ended...and I had another 7 hours to kill. However, I couldn't resist finding out who lives and dies when it came on HBO. It starts off with a pretty decent premise, for a Renny Harlin movie, but quickly supplants any hope for an intelligent thriller when it ditches the heart and goes for the jugular. The best part of this film ends up being the shark effects, which at times are super cool and at others merely CGI place holders. It ends up being a strange cross between the "how are we going to get off this sinking ship" atmosphere of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and the bloody smorgesboard of young flesh of JAWS 2.
The action is centered on a remote aquatic research facility under the direction of Dr. Susan McAlester (Burrows). They are testing a trio of genetically enhanced Mako sharks in the belief that there's a property contained in their brains that can help cure Alzheimers. They are extremely close to finding the link when the sharks start exhibiting strange behaviors like being able to reason. It soon becomes evident to the crew, a mixture of scientists and support staff, that their somewhat docile captives are no longer willing to be test subjects. The sharks want out and they make their wishes known by starting a crusade against their captors. They wreak havoc on the station, trapping our "heroes" below the surface and in their path. The humans are stuck between drowning in the sinking facility or facing the razor sharp teeth of the sharks. As the film progresses, it becomes quite clear that no one is safe from the wraith of these creatures even the film's A-List talent. The ending is the least hokey part of the film, yet renders the previous 100 minutes completely useless by destroying any hope of something good coming out of the mayhem produced by the project.