Monday, October 18, 2010

Nautical Nightmare #3: Deep Rising

The final movie for our aquatically themed mini-marathon was the first and only film to be set above water. Perhaps the sudden decompression on the way up from the murky depths led to a case of the bends that, if not technically fatal, at least facilitated a temporary unconscious state. So, with Amber off to bed, and most of my guests stumbling out into the night to hopefully make it home before passing out, it was down to my pal Eric and I to soldier through 1999's Deep Rising.

The worst DVD cover in the world. I won't blame you if you never saw it.

It wasn't all that difficult, actually, as Deep Rising is a personal favorite, and a pretty fast moving film. It's not as ambitious as Leviathan, and it trades the impressive physical monster effects that were such a big part of the appeal of Leviathan and Deepstar Six for some rather dated CGI(hey, they were cool for 1999). The film is no lost classic, but it was only ever designed to deliver a few shocks and gross out moments in a slick, fun package, and it succeeds in that regard.

A lot of the film's success is due to the cast, led by the always dependable Treat Williams, who gets the most unassuming catchphrase ever heard in an action film until Ron Perlman shouted 'Crap!' in Hellboy. He's cheesy and macho in all the right ways as a smuggler who gets roped into hijacking an ocean liner that is mysteriously empty(and bloody) when they arrive. But we have to give credit to Kevin J. O'Connor, playing his usual fidgety nervous sidekick. His role would normally be rote comedic relief, but he brings a weird bemused energy to his pratfalls and screams, and it works better than it should.

As I said, no lost classic, but it was good enough that I've always wanted a sequel(and with an ending that implies the survivors are either on Monster Island, or the island from Lost, it almost demands one), and it's been a disappointment to see Stephen Sommers retreat into awful, awful updates of Universal monster movies.

1 comment:

Rik Tod said...

Yes! The only Stephen Sommers film that I enjoy! (And I actually liked the effects in this one...)

And, agreed, that is one of the most ill-conceived monster movie DVD covers ever created. :)