Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020) closes out the trilogy in surprisingly impressive style. #SharkWeak4🦈 Review
After the flaccid and facile retread that was DEEP BLUE SEA 2, my expectations for this movie would have plumbed the depths of the challenger deep. In the annals of bad shark movie history, of course, it’s not unprecedented for a shark movie franchise that starts well to quickly sink to the murky depths of sharksploitation. After all, it’s a trajectory first swum by the godfather of shark movies itself: “Jaws”. What’s much, much rarer is for a series to stop and rise up from the darkest depths and breach the bad shark movie barrier but that’s exactly what DEEP BLUE SEA 3 manages to do.
Doctor Emma Collins (Tania Raymonde) and her team are based on Little Happy, an abandoned floating fishing village off the African coast where they have been studying the effects of climate change on the Great White Shark population who come every year to an ‘underwater nursery’ to give birth. Into this tranquil research base, Dr Richard Lowell (Nathaniel Buzolic) and his team arrive in pursuit of three rogue bull shark pups, the last survivors of the failed experiments shown in the previous film.
Where DEEP BLUE SEA 2 offered no connective tissue to the original movie whatsoever and was basically just a cheap SyFy-produced name recognition cash grab, DEEP BLUE SEA 3 not only explicitly frames itself as a follow-up to the original film but does a nifty bit of retconning of its predecessor too, folding all three films into a single, if desperately uneven, narrative.
Everything in this trilogy closer is an upgrade on the middle chapter, no doubt due to the absence of SyFy from the production. Bringing this one back in-house, Warner Bros spend a little more money and take a little more care and it shows. While still not quite within striking distance of DEEP BLUE SEA, the script is, at least, coherent and inventive and the special effects are some of the best you’ll see at this particular depth of movies.
It’s a fun watch and while the cast of good guys largely acts circles around the villainous cast, nobody’s laugh-out-loud bad and the cinematography makes the most of its water-bound sets and location. It even manages a few decent jump scares in amongst all the usual shark-based shenanigans and, like SHARK KILLER, DEEP BLUE SEA 3 has turned out to be an unexpected pearl among the bed of rotten oysters that is usually Shark Weak.