Director – Stephen Sommers
Cast – Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O’Connor, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Jason Flemyng, Cliff Curtis, Clifton Powell, Trevor Goddard, Djimon Hounsou, Una Damon
Release Year – 1998
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is a film I was really looking forward to after reading about for quite some time, but an opportunity never presented itself until I finally received that lovely red envelope Netflix sends me every now and then. You know by now that I am a huge fan of creature films, firearms, and storylines that involve criminals running into trouble that they never saw coming, so going into this piece I expected loads of enjoyment and thankfully that is exactly what I was given. The cheese is high and so is the number of flaws in the film, but they were not enough to sway my enjoyment of this awesome experience.
Treat Williams(Dead Heat, Mask Maker) stars as John Finnegan, a man who has leased out his boat transportation services to a group of heavily armed mercenaries looking to hijack a large cruise-liner on its maiden voyage. Unfortunately for the mercenaries and the now captive John Finnegan, upon boarding the cruise-liner they find themselves in need of new plans when they come across numerous large tentacled sea creatures who took over the ship first.
I have a strong love for films that give me criminals finding themselves in a mess they never prepared for, and that is only part of the fun brought on by this enjoyable story from Stephen Sommers(The Mummy, Van Helsing). Things take off quick with John Finnegan realizing fairly early on that he has taken on a job that is much more complex and illegal than he initially assumed, and eventually finds himself taken hostage by his very own employers who plan to hijack a cruise-liner carrying a considerable amount of money in a large safe. Of course, when they arrive we are thrown into the same feeling of dread as our antagonists are when they come across the seemingly abandoned and heavily damaged cruise-liner, which is where the fun kicks in and never relents. It was awesome to watch our antagonists freak out over what is going on (or lack thereof really) with the abandoned cruise-liner, which only became even more incredible when they began to fall one by one to an unseen predator that eventually made an amazing on-screen appearance in brutal fashion. Fans of creature features are sure to enjoy the loads of creature action adorning this piece, and along with the immense amount of cheesy dialogue and firearms action this well-made cheesefast comes off as a Sci-fi style film worthy of watching.
Stephen Sommers compliments this cool story with appropriate direction that delivers much of the cheese I just mentioned. The atmosphere is great and the sets used are fantastic, and despite Harrison Ford turning down the role of John Finnegan, which subsequently lowered the film’s budget, we get a low-budget piece with a high production value. The creature FX were great for the time and we are given plenty of live-action FX as well, coming mostly via the numerous kill sequences and after-kill sequences that dished out lots of gory goodness. What really made me laugh and enjoy this piece was the usage of the firearms carried by the mercenaries, which were basically modified guns that don’t even exist in real life and (in the movie) somehow carry 1,000 round magazines. If you’re not laughing now then you will be when you see this film and the mannerisms employed by John Finnegan and those who get their hands on these modified “assault rifles”. The film is never really scary but in all honesty I don’t think it was ever intended to be, it was instead intended to be an action film with horror elements thrown in and that is exactly what we are given, and with awesome results.
Overall, Deep Rising is an awesome creature feature that gives us insane antics throughout the entire experience. The gore is great and the creature action is sweet, and along with the numerous other cheesy elements and enjoyable storyline we are given a fine film experience definitely worth watching if you enjoy these types of flicks.