Deep Blue Sea

Trevor Rabin

" Pop corn score for killer sharks "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

There are directors who lack a certain kind of subtlety in their profession. Director Renny Harlin is one of them. And like others in that list (Michael Bay anyone?), people should simply approach their films with the simple fact that they at least will be fun. Most movies of Harlin didn't break any new ground (though Cliffhanger surely tried), but mostly during the 90's his movies were fun. So was Harlin's take on the dozens of shark movies that swim through our movie collections. This one just makes sure the sharks are smarter than the people who try to experiment on them. And once they destroy the facility in which they are housed, you get enjoyable suspense and cool acting characters (god I love Rapaport and LL Cool J in this movie). Trevor Rabin as usual made sure Harlin's movies sounded cool as well.

The score is typically Rabin and typically Varèse as well. Clocking in at just 30 minutes and 11 seconds, I feel it is an album that works wonders on its own yet misses just several highlights that wouldn't have felt out of place here. The moment when Carter brings the shark in the lab is a moment I missed, and I definitely miss the moment when Rabin toys around with his Alcatraz theme when Carter gets out to kill the shark at the end. For me these are about 5 to 10 minutes that would have enlightened an already enjoyable score.

But considering they aren't here, let's concentrate on the goodies that are here. And the package begins way at the end of the movie, when we receive "Aftermath" (aka the end of the movie opening the album). Stating the action theme resolved (and appearing quite successfully in the trailer of A Beautiful Mind), we also embrace the wonder theme after that (heard in the movie when Carter rises with the shark in the lab). So that's 2 themes already early on, but you'll be surprised to discover that there are more themes coming your way.

First of all the best theme of them all, the Alcatraz theme that explodes with a sense of pride in "Susan Softens". Enlightening this puppy early on, it does absolute miracles after that in the killer track "Anarchy". Here it all begins after a shark delicious atonal bite, delivering the main theme in action mode and the Alcatraz theme in holy bible epic mode. It literally is that powerful. But there's also the theme for the sharks themselves. I can only describe it as Rabin's own 4 note motif, crawling its way towards the surface in "Main". Naturally it lacks what John Williams 2 note theme has in abundance, but I like the way it works without really coping it.

Rabin also jumps to the occasion to create real anarchy and suspense in the following tracks. "Journey" does it with attacking atonal strikes and an occasional choral statement to show you just how loud Rabin wants to bring it. Same for the bad dream sting in "Experiment", stating quite interestingly the shark motif on sedatives after that. Its edgy version in "Jim Returns" proves that the sedatives have definitely worn out, bringing forth an Alcatraz variation with vocals that definitely get the job done.

But it is of course the track "Anarchy" that will give you the biggest satisfaction. But that's Deep Blue Sea in general as well. It's fairly upfront, it doesn't hide its shortcomings, but it's incredibly memorable inside the film, and it gives you several wow moments when hearing it on CD. Meaning this is definitely one of the better Rabin scores out there. It's epic in certain moments, enjoyable and effective throughout and even surprising during some occasions. It lacks something though, keeping it from a deserved four star rating. A four star rating it deserves for delivering such a bang up job in an already entertaining Renny Harlin movie.


1. Aftermath (2.46) Excellent track
2. Susan Softens (2.24) Excellent track
3. Journey (4.46)
4. Main (3.05)
5. Hunting in Packs (1.43)
6. Experiment (4.27)
7. Jim Returns (1.17)
8. Shark Side (4.26)
9. Anarchy (4.23) Excellent track
10. Doctor's Orders (0.34)

Total Length: 30.13
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 11 votes - average 3.73/5)

Released by

Varèse Sarabande 302 066 063 2 (regular release 1999)

Conducted by

Gordon Goodwin

Orchestrations by

Gordan Goodwin, Steve Haltzman, Trevor Rabin & Tom Calderero

Performed by

The LA Master Chorale