Film Review: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

09:00 August 22, 2019
By: David Vicari

The original 47 Meters Down (2017) got lucky, as it was scheduled for a Video On Demand release but, at the last minute, received a theatrical run instead. It's a useless shark attack movie, but it made a little money at the box office. So, the unlucky are movie audiences, because there is now a sequel - 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. I feel "Uncaged" should be said with a deep, booming, echoing voice. But yes, girls go diving and this time they aren't in a anti-shark cage, but the sharks are actually blind because they are from the deep, dark recesses of the ocean.

Four teen girls - stepsisters Mia (Sophie Nélisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx, daughter of Jamie) and their friends Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone, daughter of Sylvester) - go on an impromptu dive to explore submerged Mayan ruins. They quickly get lost in the ruins and became potential lunch for some sightless Great White Sharks.

Movies like this require some suspension of disbelief, but Uncaged is lazy and inept. For instance, on the dive the girls wear masks that cover the face, but not the ears, yet they are able to talk and hear each other. Was it a major oversight that their ears are exposed without any sort of hearing device that would go from the mask to the ears? Did the prop department get a good deal on these masks and just said, "Screw it!"?

Moving on, we get a fish that screeches for the sake of a cheap jump scare, even though fish don't have vocal cords. This phenomenon, however, has been going on in movies for years. The shark snarls in Jaws3-D (1983) and the Great White out and out roars - repeatedly - in the car wreck that is Jaws: The Revenge (1987).

The shark attacks in Uncaged are generally repetitive with the man-eaters sneaking up behind their victims, then the screen becoming engulfed in bubbles making it hard to see what is happening. Admittedly, there are a few claustrophobic moments in the underwater caverns, and there is some faint suspense in the finale before director Johannes Roberts (the same perpetrator of the original) goes for the ridiculous with an overabundance of slow-mo close-ups as well as sharks constantly popping up like in a Whac-A-Mole game.

This past July saw the release of Crawl, a superior alligators on the hunt for humans thriller. Crawl has good characterizations, good action, good suspense, and does everything right that 47 Meters Down: Uncaged does woefully wrong.

★ ½ (out of four)

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