Blame it all on Steven Spielberg. He made Jaws, we liked it; he made
Jurassic Park, we loved it. Now every Tom, Dick 'n Harry's uncle comes
up with monster movies that promise to enthrall us, but leave us in disgust.
Well, some do claim to have been entertained by these movies, of which Lake
Placid is an example. Deep Rising is exactly the kind of movie that
will have the audience's opinion divided.
Finny (Treat Williams) owns a boat that is hired by a bunch of guys who'd like to keep the purpose of their journey a secret. On the same waters as their boat, a cruise liner, Arganoutica - a la Titanic - is on its maiden voyage. The party on the liner doesn't last long as it is wrecked by an unknown element.
We are spared the details for now and the focus is on Finny's boat, whose passengers
aren't turning out to be friendly. They train their guns on Finny and his crew,
Joey (Kevin Connor) and a girl, but before anything nasty can happen, their
boat hits a lifeboat and sustains considerable damage.
At this point, they come across the Arganoutica and look upon it as an opportunity
to bail themselves out of their predicament. When they land on the liner, they
find it abandoned and wrecked. Only for a while though, as they discover the
ship's captain (Anthony Heald), his assistant, a pretty girl (Famke Janssen),
and, with them, an army of ferocious sea monsters.
From here, it is a battle for survival and it is too predictable as to who survives.
The whole affair is macabre to the core. There is a difference between watching the gore in Saving Private Ryan and enduring the muck of these pointless monster movies. The monsters are as slimy as they come.
To go with the slime, we have an array of characters who keep coming up with
the most corny one-liners. Treat Williams isn't exactly a treat to watch, what
with a perpetually skewed look on his face. Famke Janssen hasn't stopped grinning,
for no reason whatsoever, since Golden Eye. The rest of the cast is pretty
much the same and worse.
And what about the screenplay? Well, Joey has a girlfriend who is left behind
on the boat, as the rest ascend the cruise liner. That is the last we see of
her and she is completely forgotten by the director and, logically, by the characters
And going by the climax, there is more to come of such piffling stuff. I am
talking about the sequel, whose possibility the director has hinted at.