Alas, Deep Rescue has the great misfortune to be a disaster movie made on a way-below-miniscule budget. The film has what are possibly some of the worst digital effects of any film that one has seen in recent years, particularly during the scenes with the shuttle re-entering and skipping along the surface of the ocean, which look like no more than the graphics for a computer game circa 1995. The film has also been shot on a series of tight, constricted sets that look very cheaply constructed. (Although you at least have to applaud the economy of the film in managing to contain the entire drama within only three rooms).
On the plus side, the script makes a reasonable effort to deal with the problems of the crash in a scientifically realistic manner. The main problem is not so much this, which is reasonably interesting, but the fact that the personal drama namely the love triangle between Dale Midkiff and Stan Kirsch for the affections of Tamara Davies is allowed to take over and dominate the film. This majorly drags out the pace of the show director Christopher Bremble seems determined to make us feel every single second of the sixteen hours that the rescue crew are supposed to be taking to get to the sunken shuttle. What is missing in all of this, especially for a disaster movie, is a sense of urgency or dramatic tension.
The only name actors present are Dale Midkiff, once the star of Pet Semetary (1989) and tvs Time Trax (1993-4) and Stan Kirsch, whose only known role has been as the kid sidekick in the tv version of Highlander (1992-7). Midkiff and Tamara Davies do okay. Stan Kirsch plays cold and tightly emotionally bound but it is a performance where seeing him in command makes it far too obvious that he is going to go off the rails. (For all that, the script fails to offer any credible reason why Kirsch is so recklessly obsessed with protecting the payload at the price of human life).
There are a surprising number of similarities between Deep Rescue and The Abyss (1989). Aside from both being dramas set on the ocean floor, there is the theme of the separated husband and wife to whom the crisis acts as a reconciliation there is even a copycat scene where the two of them make the decision to drown together. Furthermore, Stan Kirsch seems to have modelled his performance on Michael Biehns character in The Abyss that of the tightly controlled person entrusted with control of the mission who proceeds to lose it.
Deep Rescue was made by director Christopher Bremble. Bremble has made only two other films, both of which demonstrate a fascination with matters NASA and Space Mission related. These were Fallout (1998) about the hijacking of a space station and The Mercury Project/Rockets Red Glare (2000) about a group of teenagers who rebuild and launch a working Saturn rocket.
Clip from the film here:-