Famke Janssen (Love & Sex) and Williams have both seen better days. Kevin J. O’Connor (The Mummy) is actually known for goofy, low-grade sidekick roles like the one he plays here. The entire crew of mercenaries, including Djimon Hounsou, should just be thrown overboard. In fact, the only passable performance in the entire film comes from Hannibal Lecter’s former doctor, Anthony Heald, as the luxury cruise ship’s designer.
All considered, the ensemble gives a straight-up awful performance, and strangely enough, that’s just what made Deep Rising pop. This is Stephen Sommers’ bread and butter. Time and time again this director has taken a lowbrow concept and gone over it with a magnifying glass to pick off any extraneous originality. He then puts together a spot on cast, throws in some cheesy dialogue, and voila: out comes a traditional monster movie. The man was born to direct these popcorn flicks.
Was Deep Rising as unforgettable as the great ape or the “King of Lizards?” No. Did it provide a cinematic landmark comparable to Perseus’ 1981 deliverance of Andromeda? Probably not. But it was created in the same spirit. It did induce an awe and stunning wonderment faithful to its origins. It is for these reasons that I recommend a viewing of this monstrous tale, this final chapter in the book of film’s mammoth horrors (and don’t hesitate to watch it with the kiddies, if they want a taste of classic terror done right).