Back in 2017, the orginal 47 Meters Down helpfully warned us of the dangers of cage diving when Matthew Modine is running the show and somehow the low budget/high concept shark movie managed to wrangle enough dough to warrant a sequel. Blissfully ignorant as to whether or not anyone even wanted a sequel to his earlier aquatic epic, returning director Johannes Roberts forged ahead with another scuba-centric adventure featuring a whole new cast facing a horrendous sophie’s choice between horribly drowning to death in the depths of of the ocean or horribly being eaten to fuck by a humongous bastard of a shark.
Quiet girl Mia and popular girl Sasha are step sisters who haven’t managed to acclimatise to each other particularly well despite their parents being played by John Corbett and Nia Long (Remember her? Where the hell has SHE been?). Mia is frequently bullied but Sasha has no interest in stepping in and stopping it as both have issues with their family unit up and relocating to Mexico thanks to their dad having the unlikely gig of sprucing up an ancient, submerged Mayan temple – good work if you can get it I suppose…
In a rare act of convenient solidarity, the sisters skip a booked boat-trip meant to make them bond and instead head to the sunken temple with Sasha’s vapid friends in order to look around, randomly party to Somewhere In My Heart by Aztec Camera and add a bit of sploosh with their spelunking all in the name of fun. While crawling around in tight stone caverns stuffed to the max with creepy sculptures and a shit-ton of cloudy sea water may not sound like the average person’s idea of a zinging good time, the quartet of whooping girls jump at the chance at this once in a lifetime two-for-one deal of claustrophobia and hydrophobia with dizzy glee. However, their two-for-one gets upgraded to a buy-two-get-one-free when their questionable day out is gate crashed by a mutant, blind, albino great white (how the fuck John Corbett managed miss that thing raises sizable questions on how well a job he must be doing) which fancies the taste of teenage girl over whatever the hell it’s been eating up until now.
Trapped by a rock fall and forced to flee further into the maze of tunnels in order to find a back door out into the ocean, the girls try to band together in the face of dwindling oxygen supplies and snapping teeth the size of kitchen knives but as the majority of them are a bit dim, their chances turn out to be slimmer than a whippet in a car crusher.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged (should’ve gone with the slightly less clunky 48 Meters Down – after all, who’s gonna measure it to check?) takes the unorthodox concept of the orginal (the females leads spend the majority of the film literally acting underwater) and tries to turn it into Jaws meets The Descent. It’s still a solid concept and it’s still impressive that the actors log up some impressive diving hours, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.
After you finish playing famous parent bingo with the cast thanks to the fact that both the spawn of Sylvester Stallone and Jaime Foxx are present, not a single one of the quartet can hope to match up to the original’s cast, babbling all their lines annoyingly loudly (even when they are telling each other to be quiet) and all the characters are written to be fairly dull – both in intelligence and interest.
One poor moron gets gulped because he’s preoccupied by jamming to The Carpenters and Roxette while he wields (questionable health and safety practice even if you WASN’T in an underwater death cave) and another dummy has the actual audacity to give an inspiring speech in a shark movie made post Deep Blue Sea.
Like many if it’s I’ll, the film has more than it’s fair share of questionable moments that pull you tight out of the film in an instant; for example, during one scene set in an inexplicable whirlpool that’s violent enough to suck a screaming victim to the crushing depths, you can clearly see the bubbles from their respirators lazily drift upwards despite all the rushing CGI water.
On the (fairly limited) plus side, the ghostly, bone-white, sharks, while obviously digital, have a pretty cool design which makes them look like Michael Myers crossed with Bruce The Shark and their frequent lunges out from the dark snares a few good undemanding scares. There’s a few decent deaths too with one mauled body illogically looking like the shark skinned it like an aquatic Buffalo Bill which leads us to believe it’s been either indulging in some impressively precise chewing or it’s content to suck the skin off it’s victims like it’s consuming a KFC Mega bucket for one.
Disposable trash from beginning to end, only the unfussiest lover of shark movies would give any love to this but add bit of pizza and a LOT of beer and you just might have a craptacular movie night.
More chump than chomp.