Dangerous Waters may be an over-the-top thriller, but it’s also unpredictable with every twist and turn. That ought to right some of its wrongs…right?
Alma (Deep Blue Sea’s Saffron Burrows) and her vigilant daughter Rose (Odeya Rush of Netflix’s Dumplin’ and Let It Snow) embark on a brief sailing getaway with Alma’s new boyfriend Derek (Eric Dane, formally of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy). While the sailing trip is about as mundane and awkward as Rose anticipated, their trip is overturned by Derek’s past; abruptly pairing Rose with Derek as they fight for survival in open waters.
The shaky dynamic between Rush and Dane is the movie’s secret weapon. Director/co-writer John Barr does a good job building tension and leaving the audience with unwavering uncertainty towards Derek’s intentions and Rose’s safety without making the movie feel sleazy. Dane chews the scenery, but the acting works towards his unhinged character – we can never take him at face value. Rush, who has been a rising star for a while, shows strength in the movie’s leading role. As a captivating heroine, she effortlessly channels different survival modes no matter what the scenario entails.
There may be some viewers who are eager to check out Dangerous Waters because they want to see Ray Liotta’s final performance. If that’s the case, the movie may leave that crowd with an unexpected bittersweetness. Liotta, given the role of an enigmatic and creepy villain, is as intimidating as we expect. It’s a portrayal that reminds us of how unsettling Liotta’s motionless stares were. Despite what he does with the role though, unfortunately, it’s not entirely a great send-off to an otherwise gifted actor (Cocaine Bear was a better posthumous tribute, to be honest). Being in the company with Liotta’s disturbing kingpin dampens an otherwise thrilling and fun action flick.
Seek out Dangerous Waters, but have one of Liotta’s classics on standby to chase this flick down with.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie