Last year fans of shark movies were given a real treat in the shape of ‘The Shallows’. Blake Lively’s struggle against the king of the underwater food chain offered a more credible, yet still entertaining shark flick. Being both a critical & commercial success it’s only natural to see a resurgence in the genre, something this shark nut is nothing but pleased about! So could ’47 Meters Down’ meet that higher standard set by ‘The Shallows’ or would it be more at home with the likes of ‘Sharknado’?
Sisters Lisa & Kate are holidaying in Mexico and decide to get up close and personal with some Great White Sharks by going cage diving. Unfortunately for the girls though the cable attaching the cage to the boat snaps causing it, and them, to plummet to the ocean floor. Mandy Moore & Claire Holt take on the leading roles. Their chemistry is fine, it does the job for the film but audiences might have enjoyed the film more so if the characters they’d portrayed were slightly more likeable. The problem really lies with Moore’s character, Lisa. She was hard to sympathise with due to her incredibly unimaginative dialogue which seemed solely to exist for exposition. It’s a shame that due to this Moore’s performance can’t salvage anything for this character. There are a few supporting roles, the most prominent of which is Matthew Modine’s Captain Taylor. However, this ends up to be somewhat of a nothing role that anyone could have played. There was great potential with an actor like Modine on board but it’s never realised.
Characters aside however, there is plenty to enjoy here. I thought that the premise for the narrative was a good one which allowed for many creative actions sequences. Of course there is a certain level of implausibility which is present in nearly all shark movies, but for the most part it’s easier to believe than a lot of other movies in this genre, I’m looking at you ‘Sharktopus’. Ever since Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ we’ve associated sharks in cinema, and in real life, with terror and thankfully there’s palpable tension here. It’s not the scariest shark movie I’ve seen but it’s still enjoyably unnerving and should send your popcorn flying on more than one occasion. The sharks really look the part too, moving menacingly through the waters. The action they’re involved in is thrilling to watch and they are given the right balance of screen time. There’s more than just the sharks to worry about this time round though, with quickly deceasing levels of air in the girl’s scuba tanks who knew the threat of the bends could be so nerve racking too!?
’47 Meters Down’ succeeds in continuing the trend of more credible entries into the shark genre restarted with ‘The Shallows’ last year. It could have become a ‘so bad it’s good’ type of film based on characters and performances however the rest of the picture is effective enough to avoid this. Inventive action sequences, impressive visual effects work creating the sharks and the overall engagement demanded from audiences prove that there’s still more to this genre than just shark and weather hybrids.
Rating – 7/10
Question: Are you tired of this genre or would you like to see it continue?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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