Friday, October 28, 2016

Film Review: Deep Rising (1998)

Deep Rising (Review)
United States/1998
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review

"...an action-packed horror extravaganza."

A group of mercenaries board a cruise ship in the South China Sea, only to find themselves facing a group of powerful tentacled sea creatures...

Deep Rising is a fun movie. The film follows John Finnegan (Treat Williams) and his crew, who agree to escort Hanover and his mercenaries to a cruise ship in the middle of nowhere. The plan was simple: the mercenaries board the ship, rob the vault and passengers, then destroy the ship with torpedoes. However, the plan is derailed when the group board the ship – Finnegan included – and find that it has been ravaged by tentacled creatures. So, a simple robbery turns into a hectic evacuation as Finnegan and his crewmen, Hanover and his mercenaries, and the surviving passengers of the ship attempt to survive. It's simple but effective. The plot moves very quickly, leaving little room for filler. It leads to a strong climax and a cheesy ending.

Okay, okay, I admit it. Deep Rising is a cheesy movie from beginning to end. It's filled with smart-aleck characters, corny jokes, and one-liners. It's a 90s b-movie with a big budget, really. Still, it is a lot of fun – and I'm not talking the whole 'so-bad-it's-good'-type of fun. No, Deep Rising is an exciting, suspenseful, and gory action-horror film. It stays on its feet throughout its entire runtime. There are 80-minute movies like Anguish that can't even do that. I went into this film without my nostalgia glasses (I loved it when it was a child) and I still couldn't find any severe issues with the film. There are some annoying characters, weak lines, and the effects didn't pass the test of time, but it's not bad.

The acting was good, too. Treat Williams plays the smart-aleck leading man well. He won't take home any awards, but he fits the character. Wes Studi also performs well. Famke Janssen plays Trillian, who is the smart-aleck thief in the movie – and she plays her well. The film looks good – for the most part. The effects are outdated. The green screen is often blatant and the computer effects are Playstation One era. There are some effects, however, that are actually solid. The film was written and directed by Stephen Sommers. Yes, the film is often cheesy, but Sommers crafted a fun thrill ride. His pacing is damn-near perfect, too.

Overall, Deep Rising is a great film. It has its fair share of flaws, but it is still an exciting creature feature. Where The Relic serves more as a traditional horror creature feature, Deep Rising serves as an action-packed horror extravaganza. It's cheesy, but it's not bad. Worth checking out for fans of the genre.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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