Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 American science fiction horror film directed by Renny Harlin. It stars Saffron Burrows, Thomas Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rapaport, and LL Cool J. Set in an isolated underwater facility, the film follows a team of scientists and their research on mako sharks to help fight Alzheimer's disease. The situation plunges into chaos when multiple genetically engineered sharks go on a rampage and flood the facility.
Deep Blue Sea had a production budget of $60–82 million and represented a test for Harlin, who had not made a commercially successful film since Cliffhanger in 1993. The film was primarily shot at Fox Baja Studios in Rosarito, Mexico, where the production team constructed sets above the large water tanks that had been built for James Cameron's 1997 film Titanic. Although Deep Blue Sea features some shots of real sharks, most of the sharks used in the film were either animatronic or computer generated. Trevor Rabin composed the film score; LL Cool J contributed two songs to the film: "Deepest Bluest (Shark's Fin)" and "Say What".
Released in theaters during the summer season, Deep Blue Sea grossed over $165 million worldwide. It received generally mixed reviews from critics, who praised its suspense, pacing, and action sequences, but criticized its unoriginality and B movie conventions. Retrospectively, Deep Blue Sea has been regarded as a successful shark film, especially within a limited genre that has been dominated by Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller Jaws. A direct-to-video sequel, Deep Blue Sea 2, was released in 2018. A third film, Deep Blue Sea 3, was released on July 28, 2020.
In a remote underwater facility, doctors Susan McCallister and Jim Whitlock are conducting research on mako sharks to help in the re-activation of dormant human brain cells like those found in Alzheimer's disease patients. After one of the sharks escapes the facility and attempts to attack a boat full of young adults, financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. Susan and Jim prove their research is working by testing a certain protein complex that was removed from the brain tissue of their largest shark, which bites off Jim's right arm upon awakening in the laboratory. Brenda Kerns, the tower's operator, calls a helicopter to evacuate Jim, but as he is being lifted, the cable jams and it causes Jim to fall into the shark pen. The largest shark grabs the stretcher and pulls the helicopter into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots, as well as causing massive explosions that severely damage the facility.
In the laboratory, Susan, Russell, wrangler Carter Blake, marine biologist Janice Higgins, and engineer Tom Scoggins witness the shark smash the stretcher against the laboratory's main window, which then shatters, drowning Jim and flooding the facility. The group goes to the facility's wet entry, where they plan to take a submersible to escape. Susan confesses to the others that she and Jim genetically engineered the sharks to increase their brain size, as they were not large enough to harvest sufficient amounts of the protein complex; this had the side effect of making them smarter and more deadly. When the group reaches the wet entry, they discover that the submersible has been damaged. While delivering a monologue emphasizing the need for group unity, Russell is dragged into the submersible pool by one of the sharks and devoured.
The remaining crew opt to climb up the elevator shaft at the risk of destabilizing the pool. As they climb, explosive tremors cause the ladder to break, and Janice loses her grip and falls into the shark-infested water. Despite Carter's attempt to save her, one of the two remaining sharks drags Janice under, killing and devouring her. In the facility's kitchen, which has been partially flooded, cook Sherman "Preacher" Dudley, whose parrot is devoured in the process, manages to kill the first shark with an explosion. He then makes his way to the elevator shaft, where he encounters Carter, Tom, and Susan. Carter and Tom go to the flooded laboratory to activate a control panel that drains a stairway to the surface, while Susan heads to her room to collect her research material. Carter and Tom reach the control panel, but the largest shark storms in, killing and ripping Tom apart, and sabotaging the controls. In the other room, Susan encounters another shark, and electrocutes it with a power cable, destroying her research in the process.
After regrouping, Carter, Susan, and Preacher go to a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. Preacher is grabbed by the last shark, but is released when he stabs the shark in the eye with his crucifix, though he escapes with injuries to his leg. Carter realizes that the sharks made them flood the facility, so they could escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. In an effort to distract the shark from escaping to the open sea, Susan cuts herself and dives into the water. Although she manages to distract the shark, she is unable to get out of the water, and is devoured, despite Carter's efforts to save her. While Carter is grabbing hold of the shark's dorsal fin, Preacher shoots the shark with a harpoon, but also pierces Carter's thigh. As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter orders Preacher to connect the trailing wire to a battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to an explosive charge in the harpoon, killing the shark. In the end, Carter reveals that he had managed to free himself in time, and joins Preacher to see a workers' boat en route on the horizon.