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Film Review: 47 Meters Down

08:44 June 16, 2017
By: David Vicari

The premise of 47 Meters Down had promise – two sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) vacationing in Mexico unwisely decide to go Great White gazing in a shark cage below the ocean's surface. The boat captain (Matthew Modine) is clearly running a shoddy operation with a rusty old cage and other malfunctioning equipment. So, when the winch holding the cage breaks, the girls plummet 47 meters (154.2 feet) down to the ocean floor with little oxygen left and surrounded by sharks. Will these ladies get out alive? Who cares?

47 Meters Down is just plain bad, I tell ya. Director Johannes Roberts has no idea how to build suspense. There are mundane scenes that are unnecessarily protracted, while scenes that should be mounting tension quickly go through the motions. Roberts also doesn't know where to put his camera. It's outside of the cage when it should be in it and vice versa resulting in a total pacification of scares. I'm serious when I say that The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), in which Don Knotts transforms into an animated fish, has more thrills.

The digital shark in 47 Meters don't look too bad, but they are scarce. If you are looking for lots of shark action, prepare to be disappointed. Besides, you won't really see anything anyway, because the few shark attack scenes are so poorly photographed and edited that you really can't tell what is going on. You see bubbles and blood in murky water. I think one guy gets bitten in half, but I'm not sure.

Moore whines her way through the entire movie, so you really want her to get eaten. On the other hand, Holt tries, but she's up against oodles of stale dialog as well as the idiocies of the screenplay (by director Roberts and Ernest Riera). The ending of the film is a real cheat!

Now, it would be completely unfair to compare this to the classic Jaws (1975), but 47 Meters doesn't even try. There are better killer shark movies out there. Last year's The Shallows with Blake Lively is a genuinely good thrill ride. Open Water (2003) and The Reef (2010) are both also quite effective. 47 Meters Down, however, is just a rip off. 

* out of four

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