"Careful, you may not be able to get your ass through the cave."
Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Davi Santos, Khylin Rambo, Brec Bassinger, Nia Long, and John Corbett
Let us start this review by remembering the filmmaker cum dreamer extraordinaire Steven Spielberg. The man not only invented blockbuster but also gave us one of the most deadly movie monsters. We don't see the shark in 'Jaws' till the very end but are scared regardless. It was so subtle that it was beautiful.
Since then, scores of filmmakers have tried to replicate the same wonder (or terror?) From outer space to Deep Ocean, the terrains have been different. The intentions, however, have remained the same - to send a wave of chilling fear into the hearts of the audience, rendering them unable to sleep at night.
Right from the get-go, we are plunged into the murkiest depths of the ocean. The underbelly is shown in all its infamy, and we know something upsetting awaits the characters. We move up to the surface, where it's not any better. Here, we get a different movie. You know, the one where the mean girls are being mean to the new girl in school? That's what happens to Mia (Sophie Nelisse), while her step-sister Sasha (Corinne Foxx) watches from distance.
The dad (John Corbett) gets her daughters to bond, wait for it, through a shark-watching trip. He also wins major dad points with Mia by showing her a real shark tooth, but hey, let's not get sidetracked this early.
You know, how kids, especially teenagers in horror or a thriller movie make the dumbest decisions that leave you scratching your scalp? Yup. That's what happens here. You've seen it all before. Sasha ditches the original shark-viewing plans on the insistence of her friends Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone). Instead, Alexa takes them to a lagoon that had somehow remained a secret spot for years. Guys, don't worry, it's totally safe. What could possibly plant a seed of doubt in your head?
One dip into the water breeds bonding, as Mia begins to feel at ease with the group. Alexa further suggests underwater diving (you can tell by now she's the other villain), and the group follows loyally even though Mia raises some valid objections. Alas, she's outnumbered and kind of having fun, so off they go into the unknown!
The teenagers then chance upon a submerged Mayan city and are instantly struck by its magnificence. While horsing around, Rambo's daughter gets a glimpse of the nasty blind shark. Petrified, she ends up crashing against one of the pillars, causing the entire structure to collapse. Now trapped and short on oxygen, they have to keep their wits about them. Their only source of help is Mia's father (John Corbett) who along with his associates is mapping the ocean for the archaeologists. However, the fact that nasty killer sharks are on the loose won't make the matters easy.
First of all, this is something beaten to the pulp. 'Fellow human getting trapped in a monstrous presence' is what we've seen time after time, which is why you've probably seen this movie too. The script is unfocused and visuals are muddled. As if this wasn't enough, the jarring slow-motion acts as the last straw.
The first movie '47 Meters Down' with Mandy Moore was actually successful in delivering engaging thrills. Here, however, Johannes has dropped the ball (into the ocean). The screenplay drags on in the end in the name of half-assed twists, which the writers Johannes Roberts and Eric Siera could have done without. Maybe they should have invested more time in giving their characters a solid (or even decent) background story because every time something horrible happened to anyone, the audience did not give two hoots.
On the account of underwater being too dark, it was hard to judge the performances.
Just kidding! The performances are better than you would expect, as all the four teenagers in distress (convincingly) act the hell out of being scared. The design of the shark was pretty cool too and there were brief moments of well-executed jump-scares The underwater sequences were darker than a certain episode of Game of Thrones, but the outdoor shots were very pleasant.
'47 Meters Down: Uncaged' is plenty scary, but not necessarily how you would want it to be. This horror only comes to end with the credits. Simply put, in the history of shark movies this one will remain at the bottom of the ocean.