47 Meters Down

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Everyone always says how great it must be to review movies and see everything that comes out. Well, sometimes I have a day like I did yesterday. One friend invited me to a party. Another called asking if I wanted to use his extra ticket to see Def Leppard and Tesla. Another group of friends invited me to see the Dalai Lama. What was I doing? I went to the Reading Town Square theatre to watch the latest shark movie because when they did the press screening for it, it was on a night another film was screening. And since I have a fondness for shark movies (I’m one of the few critics that liked Open Water), I was looking forward to it. Even more so once I found out former Chula Vista resident Matthew Modine was in it (star of Full Metal Jacket, Birdy, Pacific Heights, Vision Quest and about 50 other movies).

The last shark movie I saw — The Shallows — was okay, but the big problem was the CGI shark that looked ridiculous, and didn’t move like a real shark. At least the sharks in this looked real. The problem is…the rest of the movie was ridiculously goofy. The blame lies on writer/director Johannes Roberts, who is known mostly for his collection of horror films.

The story starts with two sisters (Mandy Moore, Claire Holt) on vacation in Mexico. One is devastated by a break-up and to get over it, they go drinking and partying with a few good looking locals (Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura). Did they not learn anything from Snatched? Well, instead of being kidnapped by the guys, they get talked into getting in a rusty shark cage off the coast to see Great Whites. The guys go first, and nothing goes wrong. Yet when Modine lowers the girls down, the crane breaks and they fall 47 meters to the ocean floor. I wondered if their eardrums would’ve exploded from being dropped to that depth, but I guess not. It seems the filmmaker did his research, because at least every 10 minutes Modine’s character is heard saying, “Don’t try to swim to the surface. You’ll get the bends.” And in between that, he said repeatedly, “Go back to the cage. It’s not safe with the sharks around.”

Okay, okay. We get it. Of course, you can’t cage women like this. So when they realize they won’t be getting rescued, they come up with a plan (which I won’t spoil, but is utterly ridiculous).

One example being how the girls are told they need to conserve oxygen in their tanks, yet they keep talking and talking. Mostly about Stewart, the guy that dumped her.

Of course there are a few jump scares and moments of tension. There are a few times the score (done by “tomandandy”) adds suspense, but usually it was awful.

There’s some interesting underwater cinematography from Mark Silk. The dark, murkiness can really creep you out at times.

The dialogue in this movie is stupid, and makes these women seem idiotic. They keep talking about how pictures with the sharks will impress the ex-boyfriend who dumped her…and worrying how their butts look in wetsuits. When you hear lines like that, you start rooting for the shark.

The movie also tricks the audience unfairly a few times (I can’t explain without spoiling).

After the Sharknado movies, The Shallows, and now this…I think shark movies have “jumped the shark.”

At least I have the Michael Phelps/Great White shark race to look forward to.

1 star out of 5.

— Josh Board