Shade reviews: 47 meters down Uncaged 2019

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Dir: Johannes Roberts

Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Fox, Brianne Tju, Sistine Rose Stallone etc

Another shark movie and a sequel to the decent 47 Meters down, this movie was good popcorn fodder but doesn’t rise to the heights of shark movie greats like Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, or The Shallows. This movie is a thrilling, fast paced experience with jump scares and it doesn’t really need to be anything else. This is the film debut of Sylvester Stallone’s daughter and also has Jamie Fox’s daughter as the co lead.

The film’s story beats are fairly similar to the first film in that, it stars two sisters who need to escape a dire situation and avoid getting eaten by sharks. However, in the original 47 meters down the second nail biting threat was the unavoidable risk of running out of air and even other risk associated with diving for too long. The sharks were not the only worry. This film doesn’t stress this part as much and the reason I suspect is that unlike the previous film, the pace is much more frantic.

The film stars two step sisters who end up exploring an underground mayan cavern that their father is escavating. The character drama is quickly forgotten at the beginning and this is, too bad, but the film is much more about the location and the big dumb journey than the previous film. The fact that they are mobile in this cavern, means that they are constantly on the move. The previous film’s stars were fairly stationary for most of the run time and this was very effective and kept it feeling grounded. The frantic pace of this film leans much harder into the big dumb shark movie and less into the dramatic horror of it. The analogues to the Descent, another cavern with creatures and active female protagonists, is very clearly felt. Unlike the Descent, there is no attempt at character development and while  I can’t say I hated any of the characters, I didn’t really get attached to any of them.

The locations were very awesome and I enjoyed it a lot but the murky depths and lighting often left me very confused over what was happening. The industrial lighting of the shark cage in the previous movie was way better at keeping the entire film beautiful and atmospheric. The fact that there were multiple characters with just flashlights probably was the reason that this happened the way it did, but still it was distracting. I also frequently forgot who was who and this was distracting. The fact that I confused Mia and Alexa due to how similar they both looked in the diving mask didn’t help. I also confused the main character Mia with Nicole. The big dumb finale was pretty over the top and crazy as hell. I have to say it strained my belief at how many times they got grabbed by sharks and were bleeding, and still lived.

Overall, I say that I liked it for different reasons than the first film, but I don’t think it was nearly as effective. It is a shame because I feel like this film had some good pieces that if structured and developed better could have actually been the Descent underwater. I would give this film a solid 2.9/ 5

Story/ Character Development: 1/5

Location/ Cinematography: 3/5

Length/ Pacing: 3/5

Creatures: 2/5

Watch it again? yes

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