MOVIE: 47 METERS DOWN
STARRING: MANDY MOORE, CLAIRE HOLT, MATTHEW MODINE
DIRECTED BY: JOHANNES ROBERTS
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
A quote during the trailer for 47 Meters Down states, “the best shark attack movie since Jaws”, okay that statement is obviously insane. You would have to be drunk, crazy, or all of the above to think a lot of movies are better than the Steven Spielberg masterpiece, but that doesn’t mean that 47 Meters Down is not any fun. In fact, the newest movie from Johannes Roberts is actually a lot of dumb fun. It’s not a brilliant concept, basically putting Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in a shark cage and let the madness begin. Either way, I found 47 Meters Down to be intense, well constructed, and a good time at the movies.
It starts with sisters Lisa (Moore) and Kate (Holt) vacationing in Mexico. The two are having fun, enjoying drinks and the sun, but the reason for the trip is because Lisa was recently left by her long-time boyfriend due to loss of interest. That certainly puts a damper on the fun and puts Kate in a position to cheer her sister up. What better way to do that then to meet some attractive locals, have too many drinks, and make plans to go deep into the ocean in a cage to get pictures of sharks? This may sound like a way to get Lisa out of her shell and enjoy some adventure, but that turns out to be not such a smart plan. The boat is sailed by captain Taylor (Matthew Modine- looking super laid back) in a vessel that is as old as a cat-fish. Plus, the sharks don’t like it when you invade their territory and dump bloody chum into the water.
It’s easy to disregard 47 Meters Down, especially since it’s release was delayed last year due to some financial issues and it being too similar to The Shallows. It has some likeness to the Blake Lively survival flick, but it’s also impressively shot by cinematographer Mark Silk entirely under water. When the two ladies sink to the bottom of the ocean like a pair of stones, director/writer Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) submerges us into a watery, dark, coffin. The performances from Moore and Holt are physically impressive, often freaking out, wearing oxygen masks, and controlling their breathing. Meanwhile, the unseen is terrifying and when the sharks do attack their cage it is an intense experience that works on the audiences fears of dark water, sharks, and bad choices made on vacation.
There are plenty of painfully annoying mistakes made in 47 Meters Down. Most of the characters do a lot of stupid things. From the beginning, the boat is a death trap, there’s no training, or real supervision when they go into the water. Uh…red flag! Also, the script from Roberts and Ernest Riera has characters explaining too much of what they are doing and Modine narrating from above like a sportscaster. All of those things are problems, but this is also a B-Movie and it knows that. It sits right next to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter for 2017’s guilty pleasure movies. If you’re expecting something with more depth, then I suggest going to an arthouse theater. This is pure shark attack action.
47 Meters Down is a wild dive into intense fun. Yeah, I know it’s a low brow movie, it even takes a turn in the end for a psychological twist that is so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh at it. It’s not all silly games though. Johannes Roberts has made an atmospheric and entertaining time at the movies. There’s a reason why we keep seeing shark attack movies like this, 47 Meters Down gives us another reason why we are scared to go in to the water. Watch out for sharks…with or without a cage.
Written by: Leo Brady