Deep Blue Sea (1999) - Plot Summary Poster



Showing all 7 items
Jump to:


  • Searching for a cure to Alzheimer's disease, a group of scientists on an isolated research facility become the prey, as a trio of intelligent sharks fight back.

  • A businessman sinks $200 million into a special project to help fight Alzheimer's disease. As part of this project, medical biologist Susan McAlester rather naughtily figures out a way to genetically enlarge shark brains, so that disease-battling enzymes can be harvested. However, the shark subjects become super smart and decide they don't much like being cooped up in pens and being stabbed with hypodermics, so they figure a way to break out and make for the open sea...

  • Doctors in an underwater laboratory discover a chemical in the brains of sharks capable of reviving human brain cells. Using gene therapy the doctors create sharks with larger brain masses as a way to speed up the production of the life saving antidote. The result is a breed of Mako that is bigger, stronger, smarter, faster and more fierce then anything man has seen before. The sharks gain the ability to reason and turn on their masters resulting in an all or nothing fight to the finish between man and the ultimate predator.

  • Believing she almost has the cure for Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Susan McCallister invites Russell Franklin with the hope that he would invest in her and the research. The research is taking placed on an isolated facility in the middle of the ocean with the test subjects being Mako sharks. What was supposed to be a visit for Russell Franklin turns into something more, when the sharks flood the facility and hunt down the team, and thanks to the team, the sharks are now smarter than ever.

  • A group of research scientists, working in an abandoned off-shore submarine facility, appear to have discovered a neuro-stimulant, extracted from the brains of sharks, that cures Alzheimer's disease. However, unknown to the rest of the researchers the project leaders Dr. Susan McAlester and Jim Whitlock have illegally used proscribed gene manipulation techniques to enhance the brain size of the sharks to attain their spectacular results. During a severe storm, whilst the researchers are celebrating their success, the newly intelligent sharks attack their captors in a bid to escape. As a result of the storm and the sharks attack strategy, the research facility suffers a catastrophic structural integrity failure and begins to submerge. The situation becomes a deadly race against time as the survivors, led by shark wrangler Carter Blake and Preacher, try to reach the surface and safety as the deadly intelligent killer-sharks continue to flood the facility and hunt their prey.

  • Aquatica is a research lab located in the ocean. Doctor Susan McAlester and Doctor Jim Whitlock are currently doing research to help in the re-activation of dormant human brain cells like those found in Alzheimer's Disease patients. It seems that sharks do not lose any brain activity as they age, leading Susan and Jim to think that the proteins found in the sharks' brains may lead to a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, which is what killed Susan's father. The research is being funded by a group of investors headed by Russell Franklin, and the investors are getting impatient with the pace of the research. It doesn't help that a shark got loose from Aquatica, and attacked a few teenagers who were on a pleasure romp. In an effort to save her project, Susan gets a forty-eight-hour reprieve from Russell, who goes to the Aquatica to see how his money is being spent. Susan skips a few steps in the research project and genetically re-engineers the DNA of three mako sharks in order to create larger makos so the makos will have larger brains. With only her weekend skeleton crew on board -- that is, marine biologist Janice Higgins, engineer Tom Scoggins, shark expert Carter Blake, meteorologist Brenda Kerns, and Aquatica chef Sherman "Preacher" Dudley -- Susan prepares for her experiment. The test is successful, but then they all see what Susan's genetic re-engineering on the sharks has done -- one of the sharks wakes up from an anesthetic and kills Jim. Susan and her crew radio for help, and a rescue helicopter crashes into the station during a tropical storm, and then another shark attack leaves Aquatica sinking into the water. The surviving crew members do whatever they can think of to escape from Aquatica while they're trying to fight off the three sharks.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • At Aquatica, a remote former submarine refueling facility converted into a laboratory, a team of scientists is searching for a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Unknown to the other scientists, Dr. Susan McAlester (Saffron Burrows) violates a code of ethics and genetically engineers three Mako sharks to increase their brain capacity so their brain tissue can be harvested as a cure for Alzheimer's, but this causes the side effects to make the sharks smarter, faster, and more dangerous.

    After one of the sharks escapes and attacks a boat full of teenagers, Aquatica's financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin (Samuel L Jackson) to investigate the facility. To prove that the research is working, the team manages to remove brain tissue from the largest shark. While examining it, Dr. Jim Whitlock (Stellan Skarsgard), one of the researchers, is attacked by the shark and his arm is bitten off. Brenda Kerns (Aida Turturro), the tower's operator, calls a helicopter to evacuate Jim but a strong hurricane causes the helicopter to lose control and crash into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots. One of the sharks uses Jim's body as a battering ram to smash an underwater window, flooding the research facility and freeing the other sharks. Susan then confesses to the others that she genetically altered the sharks.

    Susan, Russell, Carter Blake (Thomas Jane), Janice Higgins (Jacqueline McKenzie) and Tom Scoggins (Michael Rapaport) make their way to the top of the center. While delivering a dramatic speech emphasizing the need for group unity, Russell is dragged into the water by the largest shark and devoured. While climbing up the industrial elevator, a ladder falls and gets wedged between the walls of the shaft, leaving them dangling over the water. Janice loses her grip and falls, and despite Carter's attempts to save her, she is devoured. Meanwhile, the cook, Sherman "Preacher" Dudley (LL Cool J) is attacked by the first shark, but manages to blow it up by throwing a lighter into the kitchen's oven that had been turned on. He then runs into Carter, Tom and Susan.

    Traumatized by Janice and Russell's deaths, Tom goes with Carter to the flooded lab because the controls to open a door to the surface are in the lab. The largest shark attacks them and Tom is devoured. Susan heads into a room to collect her research. The second shark follows and almost eats her but she manages to electrocute it with a power cable, killing it instantly, though at the cost of destroying her research in the process. Carter, Susan and Preacher go to the top of the research center through a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. Preacher is caught by the third shark and is dragged through the water, but swims to safety after stabbing the shark in the eye with his crucifix, forcing it to release him.

    Carter then realizes that the third shark is trying to escape to the open sea, and that the sharks had made them inadvertently flood the facility so that they could escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. Susan, in an effort to distract the third and final shark, cuts herself and dives into the water. When she attempts to climb out, the ladder breaks, and she is devoured by the shark. Carter at this point had dived in to try and save her but was too late. Managing to dodge the shark's attack and grab hold of its fin, he is pulled through the water with it. Preacher, despite his injuries, grabs hold of the harpoon and shoots the shark through its dorsal fin but the spear also goes through Carter's thigh. As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter is still attached to the shark by the harpoon and tells Preacher to connect the trailing wire to a car battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to the explosive charge in the harpoon, blowing up the final shark in a spectacular fashion. It is revealed that Carter managed to free himself in time and he swims to the wreckage of the facility and joins Preacher in time to see the workers' boat en-route on the horizon.

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed