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Movie Review

Deep Rising

MPAA Rating: R for sci-fi violence and gore

Reviewed by: Brian Nigro

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Science Fiction
106 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O'Connor, Wes Studi / Director: Stephen Sommers / Released by: Buena Vista

At this same time last year—probably this very week—number one at the box office was a now-forgotten thriller about a killer snake. Flash forward to this year, and audiences can get scared by a soon-to-be-forgotten thriller about an underwater sea monster. Hmm… movie cliche #1, check.

“Deep Rising” is no-brainer, cut-and-paste, no-frills bottom of the bucket—never mind bottom of the ocean. Good guy captain (Treat William) and his Gilligan-minded assistant (Kevin J. O'Connor) are under siege from the bad guys (led by Wed Studi). Movie cliche #2, check. The bad guys slipped some nuclear missiles on board—movie cliche #3, check—as their little boat approaches a big luxury liner. Movie cliche #4 (especially given you-know-what), check.

That big luxury liner is deserted, except for the weasel captain (Anthony Heald) and a sophisticated pickpocket (Famke Janssen). Movie cliche #5, check. The bad guys continue to walk around, and get killed off by the sea monsters one by one. Movie cliche #6, check. Their machine guns have an unlimited supply of ammo. Movie cliche #7, check.

Bad special effects? Movie cliche #8, check.

Gore that’s not scary? Movie cliche #9, check.

Non-suspenseful music? Movie cliche #10, check.

And, too much profanity? Movie cliche #11, check.

What you see is what you get. Best bet would be skip this and rent the PG-13 rated “Anaconda” from 1997, or the original “Alien” (which is easily PG-13 by 1998’s standards). Both of those had more coherent plots and certainly better scripts.

From a Christian perspective, this is trash. There’s too much profanity, which is often evidence of poorly-written screenplay. Except for Kevin J. O'Connor providing minimal comic relief, all the actors look bored. You can just see the “I’m calling my agent first thing in the morning” look in their faces.

“Deep Rising” is rated R for too much profanity, too much violence, and few instances of blood and gore. PARENTS: Not even children would find this trash entertaining. Not recommended.

Viewer Comments
It’s perfect that the reviewer listed all the cliches in “Deep Rising”—so did I when I watched it—because that’s exactly what writer-director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) wants you to do. This is a retro, cliche-based ode to the monster movie (although juiced in gore for the ’90s).

It’s something you would find showcased with a gleeful air on TNT Monstervision or mocked on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”—all on purpose. It’s characters all seem like goofy sidekicks plucked from their useless spots in other movies (I’m thinking of Steve Buscemi in Armageddon).

Jerry Goldsmith’s old fashioned music and the cartoonish Attack-of-the-Giant-Leeches attitude worked a number on me and after a dreary first 30 minutes I couldn’t take it seriously and just went with it.