Picks and Pans Review: Deep Rising
There are certain universal stories, crossing national and cultural boundaries, that man never tires of hearing. One is the tale of a flood that covers the globe. Another is the riddle in which some sort of poultry risks its life crossing a road. And then there is the story of a small cluster of people, stranded in a remote location, who are pursued and gobbled up, one by one, by a special-effects monster.
Deep Rising combines elements of all these simple themes—H20, suspense and horror—although its setup is unusually elaborate. Boat pilot Williams has agreed to ferry a suspicious-looking band of adventurers and their mysterious cargo across a storm-tossed sea. Their destination turns out to be a luxury cruiser, sabotaged (by whom? as if it mattered!) and floating dead in the water. Literally dead: All but a handful of passengers have been devoured by what appears to be a league of leviathan sea worms, which groan hungrily at the prospect of snacking on these fresh arrivals. The humans prove to be as easy to swallow as peas on a knife. The monsters, which coil and uncoil like an errant garden hose, are a nicely done piece of computer animation. The rest is standard carnage and mayhem. (R)