Movie Magazine International

Deep Rising

USA - 1998

Movie Review By Alex Lau

Ever since Ridley Scott's first "Alien" film, there have been dozens of films featuring icky-looking, superhumanly powerful creatures who want nothing more than to kill all the humans within a confined space.

The latest in this tightly defined genre is "Deep Rising," a mostly entertaining movie starring Treat Williams and Famke Janssen.

Williams is Finnegan, the captain of a fast boat for hire, no questions asked. The bad news is, his passengers are a bunch of mercenaries out to ransack a cruise ship. The even worse news is, when they get to the cruise ship, it's almost completely bereft of passengers and crew, in the middle of the South China Sea. And to top it all off, there is no good news.

"Deep Rising" isn't half bad, it just seems like we've seen it all before. Williams is the handsome hero, Janssen is the beautiful-but-strong babe. There are four people of color in the party, and they meet the fate that all people of color in these types of films meet. For the first two-thirds of the movie, we get to play hide-and-seek with the monsters, but after that, they're everywhere. Starting to get the picture?

Even so, there is entertainment value here. Kevin J. O'Conner, as Finnegan's engineer, cracks a few one-liners to break the tension, and there actually is tension to crack from time to time. Sometimes the comedy is unplanned, such as how the monsters seem to switch randomly between being smarter than the humans to being dumber than your average squid.

As the third movie in the last year to be based on a cruise ship, "Deep Rising" lies somewhere between the mega-blockbuster "Titanic" and the mega-flop "Speed 2: Cruise Control." One wonders how these cruise lines stay afloat.

© 1998 - Alex Lau - Air Date: 2/4/98

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