(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. In this edition, we go swimming with sharks and take a look at the long-overdue follow-up to the highly entertaining shark attack thriller Deep Blue Sea.)
Director Renny Harlin‘s career is itself heading towards the DTV world these days, but back in the ’90s, he delivered a handful of truly solid big-screen action/adventures like Cliffhanger (1993), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), and the deliriously fun Deep Blue Sea (1999). The latter film pits a cast of familiar faces against a trio of genetically modified sharks in the middle of the ocean, and it is glorious. Big thrills, a knowing sense of humor, and at least two genuine character surprises elevate it from minor genre fare to a slice of entertainment that’s shown real staying power over the nearly two decades since its release.
A sequel has been rumored over the years, but it’s only now come into existence by way of a DTV film featuring none of the original’s players and nearly all of its story beats. A lack of originality is no guarantee of awfulness, though, so we decided to jump in feet first to see if the blandly titled Deep Blue Sea 2 can sink or swim with Harlin’s kick-ass original.