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A team of researcher’s plans backfire drastically when the sharks they are using for a testing for a potential cure for Alzheimer’s become much smarter and much more deadly! Action-packed thriller starring L.L Cool J, Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Michael Rapaport (The War at Home) and Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction).
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If dolphins are the squares of the ocean, then sharks are the maritime equivalent of the slick-haired, leather-jacketed, street-roaming thugs of the 50s. None too bright, but lethally mob-handed. Fish and Crips, if you will. And although the Great White has had something of a bad rep since Steve Spielberg sent one chomping up the New England coast, it's lesser-known cousin, the Mako shark, is about as aggressive, has an appetite for big meals and can do 0-60 in about two seconds. So what do you NOT do, apart from obvious no-nos like taking a dip or generally upsetting them? Well, not breeding one that increases its size from 15 to 25 feet, and its weight from 2,000 to 8,000 pounds would be a start. But if you really must, then definitely don't genetically increase its brain capacity by up to five times so it then has the capacity to plot revenge, plant traps and handle advanced algebra. Aboard the off-shore marine research facility Aquatica, of course, a misfit band of station personnel led by stroppy boffin Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) and overseen by hard-nosed financier Russell Franklin (Samuel L Jackson) have seen fit to ignore such common sense. So when a tropical storm conspires with a freak accident to send the facility slowly belly-up, our hapless ensemble are trapped in steadily rising waters containing three savvy snappers out for as much blood as they can get. As ever in the action disaster genre, it's a spectator sport of spot-the-survivor(s), so take your pick from Burrows, Jackson, research physician Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting), holy chef LL Cool J (Halloween:H20), hunky shark expert Thomas Jane (The Thin Red Line), marine biologist Jacqueline McKenzie Romper Stomper) and engineer Michael Rapaport (Copland). One horror from which none escape, however, is a truly appalling script, starved of anything approaching a decent one-liner and requiring each cast member to deliver at least one laughably painful speech. And such a weakness is such an unnecessary and careless flaw, because they've got the rest pretty much spot on. Everyone's game enough to get wet and hurl themselves about, at the mercy of some incredibly seamless blending of animatronic and computer-generated shark effects that really takes the advantage of advancing technology. Long-haired Scandy action director Renny Harlin (Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight) knows how to deliver this tricky technical package with a decent shock count and at a punchy pace, and has evidently marshalled the huge water-tank stages in Mexico (built for James Cameron's Titanic) with some considerable skill. And so had Jackson and his band of less well-known actors been served with better dialogue, this could have - should have, actually - ranked as one of the finest action-suspensers to date. In essentially the secondary lead role, Burrows gets stuck in and (eventually) de-kits for the resident babe bikini shot, but as her Circle Of Friends co-star Minnie Driver found before her on Hard Rain, filming a watery action pic can be a lot of bother for not much return. And although this certainly does the business in terms of expensive-looking, Saturday-night, thrills-and-spills fare, you never really care about the walking, talking fish-fodder, and will probably have forgotten most of it by the time you're home.