Cast: Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Fox, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone
Director: Johannes Roberts
Well, I thought Crawl would give us our annual summer man vs nature movie, but it looks like 47 Meters Down: Uncaged wants to take a stab and make sharks the most dominant species of the year. Unlike Crawl, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged feels like a Sy-Fy channel remake that doesn’t establish itself as unique or really necessary. Not that the first movie was anything to write home about, but this one truly doesn’t offer anything new and failed to do anything other than rehash old tricks and gimmicks from better movies.
The film follows a group of teenage girls who go diving in an ancient underwater Mayan city. When they end up trapped from the ruins collapsing, they encounter a hungry shark that’s tracking them down without being able to see. With their oxygen running out, the four must work together if they are to find a way out without suffocating or being eaten. As you can probably imagine, this is as about standard of a plot that you write for a movie like this. You can visualize the formula in your head without having to step into a theater once and that’s exactly what 47 Meters Down: Uncaged’s biggest problem is. Combine this with actresses who are average at best and are mostly in this movie because they have famous fathers and you can see why this movie ends up being duller than most in the genre. That being said, the film does take advantage of its ridiculous setup by thriving in a world of campiness that only a movie as bonkers as this could create. It provides some of the most intentional unintentionally hilarious scenes of the year, but that’s what I’m looking for in a movie like this. Seeing a shark jump out of the water in slow-motion and slowly rip a person in half had me doubled over with laughter and it has to be the intention of the movie to get that reaction. None of the attempt at a story elements matter to me in this situation as the movie is very obviously going for a, “so bad it’s good” angle and it works out almost exactly as it should. In the closing scene, I was waiting for potentially the most absurd scene in the movie to happen and the way it was set up left it open to the possibility, but unfortunately the movie didn’t go with that angle and chose a more typical ending. Considering how most films within this genre typically look, I will admit the visual effects actually weren’t that bad. There’s only a few moments where sharks clearly look fake, but most of the scenes including the first time we see a shark on-screen seem to be incredibly real-looking. When it’s all said and done, the reason why 47 Meters Down: Uncaged didn’t have the same financial impact that Crawl did is directly related to the level of quality and the fact that Crawl felt fresh while 47 Meters Down: Uncaged feels much more like the sequel nobody asked for.
Overall, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged probably also suffered from box office fatigue, as this type of movie would probably fare better in early July instead of at the tail end of summer, but as a, “who cares” type of release, it isn’t that bad. A very typical type of nature/horror movie, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged shows moments where it embraces its ridiculous concept, but ultimately tries to shoehorn in an emotional story that doesn’t really matter. It should’ve stuck to what these movies do best, show us death and destruction at a level not seen in less gory movies.
Overall Score: 5/10