They really made a sea world for and out of this one! And it reminds me a bit of Cruel Jaws, which came after, and was clearly a rip-off. But a well-done one that in some aspects probably surpassed the original.
They have the theme park too here, the sunken ship, the grenade and all... it's all very familiar. The latter was definitely a lot more fast-paced and gripping, while this one clearly had a much bigger budget. They had crowds here. Synchronized dolphin flips. A real underwater structure. Suppose this might've been the one to inspire Deep Blue Sea too.
The 3D effects (two of them that are really obvious even if you aren't watching this in 3D) didn't stand the test of time all that well unfortunately, but they must've been something out of this world at the time the movie came out, and I'm glad they got a happy ending for once too.
The movie overall feels a bit disconnected from the earlier two, but with a similar style, and mood, and girls and all that shizzle, and some black guys in higher positions for probable purpose of increased equality... I don't dislike progress but it just feels very clear here that's the only reason they were there. Could've played a more central role. Could've been involved with the final scenes, or rescue, or... you know what? They could've just omitted them too if they were just there to play victims anyway.
Then again I could've just not got stuck on this one observation in the first place. Why do I notice. What is color but a color. The road towards film (and anywhere else for that matter) diversity sure has been a bumpy one, and still is always so angled. Everyone's always wherever they are for a reason, with a role that appeals to people of particular groups, but not always because they're credible, or suitable, or good actors. I wish observations like this were never a thing; that they focused more on the product than on suitable breadth of racial distribution.
Never mind that tangent! If you liked the earlier Jaws you'll probably like this too, and enjoy the new setting, and the people.
They also certainly made up for earlier shortcomings in regard to lacks of crowds. Now there are always plenty of observers whenever there is ongoing carnage or a sense of desperation and danger that needs be conveyed. The more people involved the bigger potential sacrifice no?
The desperation does feel real here, and the shark wound looks real, but then again you rarely get a sense the shark is actually in the same place as the swimmers. They cut to either one or the other, or you just see a fin, and the slow-mo shots of the glass cabin were shameful, and there's a loose end with Lisa.
Though it looks good and feels improved in some areas this franchise is also starting to feel a bit watered down, like they've got it but they've forgotten how to use it. It feels used, though still not bad. I liked the water stunts in particular.
It could've probably been bigger, badder and better considering the budget but it's still worth a watch if you've started on this road.
Of Jaws and all. Of these underwater movie franchises with beasts that clobber us like dolls; have water sports involved and all. Overall...
rated 3/5: not bad