If you’ve got to do this to win back an ex, he/she simply isn’t worth it. Two sisters in Lisa and Kate (Mandy Moore, Claire Holt) are vacationing in Mexico. Lisa has recently come off of a breakup, but still has feelings for her ex, Stewart, who broke things off because he found Lisa boring.
What better way to make Stewart jealous? By cage diving in a shark-infested ocean while taking pics of the expedition, of course! Despite Lisa’s reluctance and rightful unease, she agrees to do it. After a few calm and fun minutes, the cage breaks away from its rope, sending the sisters spiraling down to the ocean floor. Now, 47 Meters Down with limited radio contact, air supply, and numerous hidden sharks, Lisa and Kate must do whatever’s possible to stay alive and return to the surface.
After the success of The Shallows, it appears that we could possibly be entering a phase in which shark movies are coming back to the big screen during the summer months. Enter 47 Meters Down, a movie that was supposed to go straight-to-DVD last August from Dimension Films, yet was purchased and saved for wide release this summer by Entertainment Studios films due to the success of that Blake Lively vehicle. While there’s baseline genre thrills, 47 Meters Down takes only an average bite in delivering a harrowing tale.
47 Meters Down‘s main problems start with the script, penned by director Johannes Roberts. Particularly the first 10-15 minutes, which set up why the two females feel compelled to do what is ultimately their undoing. The reason, stated before in the first paragraph, is extremely shallow and stupid, considering that we as the audience never see the ex-boyfriend Lisa is referring to. He only exists in a response to a text sent from Lisa when she tells him how much fun Mexico is and how much better it would be if he were there. His paraphrased text? “That’s really cool…I’m moving out my stuff tonight.” He’s totally worth trying to win back.
The few efforts to flesh out the two lead roles do not work, be it via early movie cringey dialogue, or mid-movie “sister-talk.” Mandy Moore and Claire Holt do their best—they’re not insufferable and they’re good at screaming and hyperventilating (Moore, especially) —but with lazy writing, neither is charismatic or talented enough to overcome script deficiencies and make audience truly care for their characters here. Every other person in 47 Meters Down is disposable or inconsequential, aside from Matthew Modine who exists to deliver status updates and key information via radio.
47 Meters Down can’t completely be dismissed, however, because it mostly gets the things right in a shark movie that audiences come to see. While not quite up to the technical quality of better Great White features, Roberts directs most moments and shark attacks with skill, and the addition of rapidly declining oxygen tanks adds some tension. The sharks look very believable, and many different types of shots are used to convey the disorienting and dark depths of the ocean. Most shark movies don’t go as “deep” as 47 does, so that in itself is sort of unique. Although predictable when it is first brought up, there’s a cool final act “twist” that gives some life to the film. Unfortunately, 47 ends flat, with no aftermath follow-up of what comprised most of the runtime.
47 Meters Down is OK enough to not be deep-sixed into oblivion, getting by with staple shark movie thrills. But, it’s better to wait and watch this in the format Dimensions Films originally intended.
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Man, I’ve not even heard of this movie. Not necessarily a bad thing by the sounds of it.
Not a bad thing! This is pretty average, best just watched at home.
i watched this at home a few nights ago – and I started skipping through parts of it b/c I couldn’t tolerate the cringey dialogue; i liked the part in the cage in the midst of dying and Mandy Moore’s character says to her sister in the face of death “You always had so many guys throwing themselves at you!” LOL. B/c that’s what someone’s going to be thinking about in that moment! LOL. I skipped to thru and watched the last 15 minutes, and had they simply stopped the film while Moore’s character was crazily laughing i think would have been much more effective and creepy; that could have been the one thing they got right. If you want to see a great shark thriller, try “The Reef”. Best shark film since “Jaws”. I actually really liked “Open Water 2” but i know some people hated it. Good write-up, man!
Oh yes, some of the dialogue is extremely cringy, especially the beginning and the setup to get into the cage. I guess this is fine, but you did better than I did watching this at home. There’s nothing about this that screams theater watch.
AND by watching at home, I could fast forward thru scenes. lol. this film is lucky i even watched any of it after the first 10-15 minutes. I am not one of these movie-viewers who insists on finishing a movie after starting; i am quick to shut a movie off if it’s boring, lame or poorly written; even at the theater I will exit early and slip into another movie. Your ticket stub says “9:45am”. that’s the best time to go to the movies, as it’s usually a very quiet crowd.