Deep Blue Sea

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

Dr. Susan McCallister, her team of scientists, and shark wrangler Jake Carter are researching a cure for Alzheimer's in a refurbished WWII Submarine refueling platform, using sharks to "grow" a protein that reactivates dead human neurons. However, the sharks' brains were too small, and the amounts of protein harvested were so small as to make the efforts unviable, so they use genetic engineering to give them larger brains. They kept the sharks corralled in an unbreakable mesh cage submerged in the ocean along with their labs. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

After one of the sharks escapes and causes a PR fiasco, Russell Franklin, the CEO of the company funding their research, comes in to inspect their progress and see if they should be funded or shut down. Of course something Goes Horribly Wrong Right.

Characters include:

Tropes used in Deep Blue Sea include:
  • As the Good Book Says...: That's why they call him "Preacher".
  • As You Know: It had to be brought up so that scientists could claim they hadn't. Even more awkward because it's Samuel L. Jackson talking Science.

Russel Franklin: I'm just amazed we've come so far so fast without genetic tampering.
Scientist: You know that's illegal.

  • Batman Gambit: By the sharks, whose pursuit of the humans is actually a ploy to get them to flood the floating station, so it'll sink low enough for the super-makos to escape into the ocean.
  • Badass Preacher: Preacher's MO.
  • Big Bad: The sharks.
  • Black Dude Dies First: There are actually two black dudes; one a heroic leader figure played by Samuel L. Jackson and the other a secondary character separated from the main group with his own B-plot played by rapper LL Cool James. Guess which dies first? Subverted. Preacher even survives, thanks to the below-mentioned Focus Group Ending, and Jackson's character dies right in the middle of his Rousing Speech.
  • Darkness Equals Death
  • Darkest Hour: So, we've slowly whittled the cast down to three people. Susan sacrifices herself to get the shark in range of the Harpoon Gun. Carter, who leapt into the water to save her, is now riding on the back of the shark as it swims toward its escape. Preacher takes his shot at the 25 foot shark... and pins Carter to the dorsal fin.
    • Lampshaded. "25-foot shark and you hit me? Nice."
  • Dead Star Walking
  • Death by Irony: Subverted, as the character escapes with his life. Preacher hides from a shark in one of his ovens, when the shark's thrashing turns on the gas. He even lampshades this as he's making his escape.
  • Death by Sex: With drunk teens no less. Subverted, though it did attract the escaped shark in the opening.
  • Decoy Protagonist
  • Did Not Do the Research: Some of the stuff the sharks do is just not physically possible, even if they were smart enough to think to try.
    • Like swimming backwards. Sharks physically can't swim backwards; it has nothing to do with how smart they are.
    • Although, to be fair, this is pointed out by one of the characters who states something to the effect of: "That shark just swam backwards. That's impossible! Sharks can't do that." However, as the sharks aren't just stated as being smarter as a result of the scientist's genetic tampering, but also faster and stronger, it's feasible to presume that the genetic changes were to more than their brains. If those changes also affected their basic physiology, too, perhaps those changes made it possible for them to sudden swim backwards.
    • The MythBusters examined the climax of the film and determined that most of it was not possible.
    • Even a real mako could clear that fence with almost twenty feet to spare.
    • Carter's tiger shark. Tigers don't have pointed snouts.
  • Everything's Even Worse with Sharks
  • Famous Last Words

"We're going to pull together and we're gonna find a way to get outta here! First, we're gonna seal off this--!"
"Come to Momma."

  • Fan Service: Susan is being stalked through the flooded complex by a shark. She comes up with a plan to electrocute the shark, which requires an insulating sheet, which requires her to strip off her wetsuit.
  • Focus Group Ending: This is why, contrary to genre expectations, Preacher survives, and Susan doesn't. All things considered, it worked out pretty well.
  • For Science!: Averted. The cast rails against Susan's experiments, but it was never "for science," just for her dead father.
    • That pissed her off, and stated that she doesn't need to justify her actions.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Their efforts to make the shark's brains bigger succeeded spectacularly...
    • It helps that the intelligence was just a byproduct instead of the goal.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The shark's escape wasn't exactly as planned though.
  • Great White Hunter: Carter.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: One can hardly blame a bunch of animals for wanting freedom. One can hardly blame a bunch of humans for wanting to live.
  • Hot Scientist: Susan.
  • Idiot Ball: Passed around right before Janice's death. She falls into the water, and stays there crying for help. It's a little hard to believe that even in a state of frenzied panic and fear of impending death she'd forget that there is a perfectly fine ladder about eight feet away from her. And Carter, rather than urge her to swim over to him, instead instructs her to just stay afloat right where the shark can most easily grab her, while taking the time to climb onto the broken ladder section so he can stage a Take My Hand scene by fishing her out of the water. Predictably, he fails.
    • And then there is Susan who goes back to her lab to retrieve her Alzeheimer cure data and finds it flooded. In the middle of a flooded facility teeming with aggressive sharks and a large lab area with multiple open access points. Sorry, not even for a cure for Alzeheimer's would I step into that waist-deep water. But Susan...? Uh huh.
  • Ignored Expert: Jake Carter tries to convince the "good" doctor that her plan is spectacularly ill-concieved.
  • It Can Think
  • Jaws First Person Perspective: It had to open with one.
  • Kill'Em All: only Carter and Preacher survive.
  • Kill It with Fire: One way to kill a shark.
  • MacGuffin: The Alzheimer's data disk Susan was trying to salvage. It gets fried by electricity, which almost makes this a Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
  • Night Swim Equals Death: Subverted in the beginning. Played straight later.
  • Ominous Crack: Shortly after the extraction of brain tissue from one of the genetically engineered mako sharks, Dr. Whitlock is attacked by the supposedly sedated animal and has to be rushed to the surface. During the chaos that ensues, Whitlock's stretcher is dropped into the water by the crashing rescue helicopter and one of the sharks throws it against the laboratory's observation window, resulting in an Ominous Crack.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Preacher's parrot.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You ate my bird."
  • Sacrificial Lion: Russell Franklin, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Scale of Scientific Sins: Giving sharks, already apex predators, an intelligence boost?! Yeah, people are gonna die.
  • Screw Learning, I Have Phlebotinum
  • Shock and Awe: Another way to kill a shark.
  • Short-Lived Aerial Escape: The Trope Namer is the director, after all.
  • Stock Sharks: Well, there are no dinosaurs here, but almost all shark attack films have the stock shark: the Great White. This one subverts it by making them mako sharks.
  • Shut Up, Kirk: An effective one. By a shark.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Let's face it. Preacher single-handedly kills one shark, miraculously saves everyone when one of their escape attempts fails, and in the end saves the day by killing the last shark and giving Carter time to escape. Although escape would've been easier had Preacher not shot him in the leg with the harpoon gun while shooting the shark. He's also the only person in the entire movie who survives a direct attack by one of the sharks (the biggest one no less), even partially blinding it in the process.
    • Carter also fits, as Susan is supposedly the focus of the movie (she's even in the poster).
  • Super-Persistent Predator: The sharks; Tom Jane even points out that sharks don't particularly like the taste of people. Justified because eating the people isn't the goal, getting them to open doors and flood the facility is. Although wiping them out is a beneficial bonus since no one else would know about the super intelligent sharks...
  • Survival Mantra: Starts Biblical ("Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. For thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.") then the blackness kicks in ("Because I carry a big stick and I'm the meanest mother fucker in the valley! Two sharks down, Lord! One demon fish to go! Can I get an Amen?").
  • Take My Hand: When traveling up the service shaft, this happens with Carter trying to grab Janice out of the water when she falls in. The shark kills her.
    • It's actually pretty hilarious how the scene plays out, since the shark drags her under only to leap back up with the woman still half eaten and covered in gore, hand still reaching out to be saved before sinking back under. It's so ridiculous the only reason for the shark doing that is either because it was taunting him, or hoping he'd grab her because with the full weight of a super shark with half her body down his gullet, the only thing that could have happened would have been him getting dragged own with them.
  • Title Drop

Carter: "That's the answer to the riddle. Because that's what an 8000-pound mako thinks about. About freedom. About the Deep Blue Sea."

  • Too Dumb to Live: Russell Franklin's best plan to escape the lowest level of the facility was to try to out-swim two freaking sharks to the surface. Fortunately, one of the other survivors tears this plan to pieces by comparing the swimming speeds of average humans and average sharks (the sharks unsurprisingly being several orders of magnitude faster), and provides a less-suicidal method of escape.
    • Fridge Logic sets in. He survived an avalanche in the Himalayas. Certainly there were sacrifices there... he's giving everyone a fair chance to not be the one who gets eaten. What he underestimates is how much faster the sharks are than humans in the water, so much so that no one was making it to the surface intact. Not once did he think that everyone would survive the swim.
      • In other words, "I don't have to be faster than the shark, I just have to be faster than you." (While not realizing that the shark is fast enough to get you and you and you and then you.)
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: between Carter and Susan.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Susan.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dr. Susan's actions prior to the film.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Preacher, though at times it actually works out to his advantage.