Deep Rising (1998)
Director: Stephen Sommers
Kevin J. O'Connor/Tooch
Squared jaw sea dude Finnegan (Williams) and his crew are hired to get a bunch of heavily armed bad asses to a casino cruise ship filled with cash and jewels. Why? Take a wild guess. When they get there, the ship is empty and something is prowling about. Is it an Alien? Is it The Thing? Is it Natasha Henstridge (I wish)? Is it Treat Williams’ agent? Nope, it's just your everyday giant tentacle sea beast…
Sometimes you have generic no-brainers that bore you (like "Virus") and other times you get generic no-brainers that actually entertain. "Deep Rising" is part of the latter category. This movie is stupid and it knows it. It’s very déjà vu and it knows it. But most of all, it’s guilty fun and it knows it!
I’ve seen this formula a zillion times before but this film plays it out with such energy and loads of macho bullcrap, that I couldn’t help but enjoy myself. You want to see lots of gunplay? Tough guy stare downs? Chase sequences involving giant CGI tentacles? Or maybe some sea-doos riding around inside a cruise ship? If so, you’re in the right spot. To make everything even more enjoyable, we’re also treated to some sometimes-excessive gore (didn’t see that axe thang coming), funny one-liners (Williams and O’Connor are all about that) and situational humor that actually works (Wes Studi’s last bullet scene cracked me up).
Now I start bitching: The CGI is at times very obvious (the full creature looks like shite) and the blue screen gives a lot of potentially scary scenes away (you know something is going to happen before it happens because you see the flick jump into blue screen mode). The movie also overstays its welcome by about 15 minutes, gets very repetitive (creature attacks, they run away, creature attacks, they run away…) and is fairly predictable.
It could’ve skipped on some of the more tired conventions: The stalk sequences involving characters wandering alone in the dark take a bit too much time to get to the point (mainly because we know they’re gonna die). And did we really need the token traitor that winds up getting the worst death? Or the guy that always seems to know where the creature came from (actually the same guy)? Not really. The film could’ve also upped Tooch’s girlfriend subplot. Why did they even write her in? They hardly use her or capitalize on the fact that she’s his girl. Could’ve increased the stakes with her character.
After I finished second guessing the whole flick and scoring a percentage of 100% accuracy, I looked back at my "Deep Rising" experience and came to the conclusion that it had a lot in common with a one night stand blow job. I’ve had many of them in the past, they feel good, sometimes a bit off and when they're all over, they generally don't mean anything. Now I won’t respect "Deep Rising" in the morning but I can’t deny that it gives good head. Wham, bam…thank you ma'am!
This one delivers. We get bloody bodies splattered everywhere, a regurgitated man half digested, a dude getting eaten alive (great scene), a crazy axe in the head bit (wow), some innocent bystanders getting killed, a groan inducing broken leg and lots of creature action. Fun times…
Treat Williams (Finnegan) has the pumped up, one-liner spitting macho dude down pat. He’s perfect for this role. Famke Janssen (Trillian) doesn’t need to act…she could be gutting a cat for hours and still win an Oscar…she’s sizzling hot. Kevin J. O'Connor (Tooch) can play the goofy sidekick in his sleep and brings a few humorous moments to this flick. Anthony Heald (Simon) always plays the slime ball…why…because he’s so good at it. What a prick! Wes Studi (Hanover) does the badass thang again. Jason Flemyng (Mulligan) is on the money as the tough but fearful dude that loses it. THIS FLICK IS TYPE CASTING HEAVEN!
T & A
Famke Janssen looks great in that white wet tank top, although it was never wet enough for me. The ladies get Treat William’s killer eyebrows.
I don’t know if Stephen Sommers is a good director but he sure knows a thing or two about that “roller coaster” vibe. The camera is always on the move and the slow motion works. Sommers goes crazy with the close ups and the creature POV shots and he delivers everything in a candy coated "fun time" stuff package. Is he a good director? I don’t know but he sure knows how to show the audience a good time ("The Mummy" flicks are more proof).
Jerry Goldsmith’s score is sometimes very kooky (it grew on me) and at other times very standard.
You want to hear someone say “bingo” again? Wanna hear “We gotta get out of here...it’s gonna blow” too? Wanna see a film with lots of guns, creatures and gore? Do you crave an ending that’s sealed with the typical big explosion and a kiss? Well, here ya go, just don’t expect anything novel or different. The same old thang served up with a shot of adrenaline. "Deep Rising" is a common whore but at least she swallows.
Did you know that Treat Williams was a professional pilot for a year in the early 80’s?
Did you know that one of his maternal ancestors “Robert Treat Payne” signed the Declaration Of Independence?
Now you know…