Deep Rising

Newcity Chicago

DIRECTED BY: Stephen Sommers

REVIEWED: 02-02-98

Now I know what "Titanic" was missing. Huge, jaw-snapping sea worms! In "Deep Rising," Treat Williams leads a rapidly thinning crew of gunners through the Argonautica, a cruise ship disabled by big worms during its maiden voyage on the South China Sea. We're working with a budget of distinctively un-Titanic proportions here. Early on, all the passengers are conveniently exsanguinated off-screen (represented by the sight of one shrieking, panicked woman getting sucked down the toilet) and throughout the film, the cast appears to be sloshing through the same dimly lit corridor again and again. The worms themselves, in contrast to the mechanical puppets from "Aliens," are clearly computer animations that have been superimposed onto live sets. Still, I found myself throwing my hands up to my cheeks and grimacing with each fresh kill the bulging, twisting worms made. And when I wasn't grossed out, I was giggling at the self-conscious delivery of all those macho action quips ("We've gotta get out of here, this thing's gonna blow!"). Be forewarned: though amusing, these quips never approach the mocking genius of those in "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn." They're more like lines one groans at in a sincere film but which are now rendered campy in the context of their obvious overuse. Winking at us when you're being unoriginal, however, doesn't absolve you from being unoriginal. With Kevin J. O'Connor, Anthony Heald as the toothy captain and Famke Jannsen in a moist, clingy tank top. 106m.

--Ellen Fox

Full Length Reviews
Deep Rising
Deep Rising

Capsule Reviews
Deep Rising

Other Films by Stephen Sommers
The Jungle Book
The Mummy

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