Is it really summer without a grotesque shark movie hitting theaters? Probably not. That is, if the film is any good.
If not, then it’s safe to say that the film should be prevented from killing the June-August mood. Such is the case of “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.”
Released on Aug. 16, the 90-minute film that’s rated PG-13 fails to live up to the standards of the first installation of this series, “47 Meters Down,” because of its cliché story line and unsurprising scenarios.
Instead of presenting the story of two sisters in the 2017 version, this one focuses on two stepsisters, Mia (Sophia Nélisse, “Close”) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx, “Beat Shazam”), who just moved with their family to Yucatán, Mexico. One day, instead of going on a class field trip, Sasha’s mischievous friends, Alexa (Brianne Tju, “Light as a Feather”) and Nicole (Sistine Rose Stallone, “Entertainment Tonight”), convince her and Mia to go on an excursion to a cove that happens to be stocked with scuba diving gear.
Using the equipment, the four decide to visit the underwater ruins of a Mayan city and end up swimming into … you guessed it, sharks.
Unfortunately, the movie wastes no time introducing its corny and cliché characters, especially when the stepsister drama between Mia and Sasha is overly emphasized when the latter establishes at the beginning of the movie that Mia is “not [her] sister.” Additionally, the film includes a stereotypical blond “mean girl” in one scene in which classmate Catherine (Brec Bassinger, “All Night”) dramatically pushes Mia into the pool as if the movie wouldn’t have been a success without it.
However, the real mess begins in the ocean, and I’m not just talking about the “sharks-attacking-humans” situation.
The typical “squad that is clueless of what they’re doing” situation begins as the four swim deeper into the ocean. One would think that after visiting the Mayan city, they would have been satisfied with the sights they already experienced. Unfortunately, their curiosity gets the best of them, which ultimately causes them to encounter sharks they don’t want to see. Shocker.
What’s not surprising is the dramatic shift from “girls having fun” to a “we are about to die” scenario. Viewers already know what is in store for the young group and know that it is not going to end well for them.
The unlikely “shark vs. human” scenarios add on to the fault list. Toward the end of the film, Mia fights off a shark that has a hold of her in its mouth, which seems pretty unlikely. It’s almost as if the only reason she got away is she’s the main character. Again, no surprise there.
On the other hand, the sneak sea creature attacks, along with the sudden intensifying music, had the audience’s hearts racing, adding enjoyment to these scenes. As the music transitions from tranquil to chaotic, viewers might undergo jump scares as they watch the scenes.
Similarly, the shots of the sharks slowly lurking up behind the humans definitely add to the suspense of what will happen to the girls.
Overall, the movie fails to satisfy the audience. The cliché story line and unsurprising scenes get in the way of what could have been an epic thriller for the summer.
To whoever is planning a shark movie next summer, take note: Just as how some areas should be left undiscovered, such as in this film, some movies should be left untouched and left buried 47 meters down, if not deeper.