“47 Meters Down” Sinks a Fun Premise

47 Meters Down

“47 Meters Down” is written and directed by Johannes Roberts and stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt.  The film is about two sisters who travel to Mexico, meet a couple guys, and then travel on their sketchy boat to go in a cage underwater to look at some sharks up close, and against all odds, something actually goes wrong, stunning!

If you couldn’t tell, I was not very excited to see this movie, as the trailers looked completely ridiculous, and the premise sounds like it could be a decent short, but not one that could be strung out for 90 minutes.  I wasn’t a very big fan of Blake Lively’s “The Shallows”, but maybe this film could find its niche and be a fun, campy action film with some cool effects.

The Good

A few scenes work to add some tension, specifically scenes involving a lack of oxygen.  These moments are just naturally very scary, and they were handled quite well to build suspense.  There are some nice shots underwater, and some creative camerawork techniques that didn’t all work, but they did add some originality to the film as a whole.  The sharks, for the most part, look very cool and are of course the highlight of this movie, as when they show up in full they immediately strike up the intensity and make for some very cool scenes.

The Bad

Mandy Moore.  Moore flails and wails through this entire 90-minute movie, and does so in such a horrifically annoying way that I was actually rooting for the shark to gobble her up so that she could shut her damn mouth for once.  Claire Holt is pretty solid in the other lead role, but Moore drags them both down hard, as she is consistently over the top and is downright awful whenever it comes to creating tension.  Also, it is often very tough to differentiate between who is the one talking, as both actors look and sound exactly the same when in suits, so a different casting decision could have been incredibly helpful to the overall state of the film.

For a movie so simple in its premise, there are just not enough sharks to make the movie interesting.  There are a couple cool scenes, sure, but most of the time the girls don’t seem in much danger of these creatures, at least as much as they should.

While the film wastes no time getting this movie into the water, the ten minutes of development given to these characters is atrocious and laughable.  There are some really bad attempts at emotional conflict early on, as well as some cringe-worthy scenes following a party, and while I’m not expecting “Moonlight” level performances, it is still a tough watch while the action is put aside.

I get that this is supposed to be a campy movie that isn’t going for realism, but this BAR meter is the perfect exposition device, as it seems to suck up all the oxygen at the right times.  If this thing was anywhere near close to accurate Mandy Moore would be out of oxygen by the second act with all that yapping, but I found this meter to be something that could have been done significantly better than how it was in this movie.

This should have been a rated R film, as there are quite a few scenes that would have been much improved if the camera didn’t have to shy away from the action.  Still, there is one twist in this movie that really sets me over the edge, as there is an absolutely incredible moment of action that heightens the intensity past anything this movie had offered to this point, but it is all ruined by a twist that follows shortly after.  I won’t spoil why, but even though this twist did catch me off guard, it felt like a cop out by the end of the film.

Conclusion

“47 Meters Down” is pretty terrible aside from a few cool scenes, but it is also nearly exactly what I expected.  The dialogue is clunky, the acting is subpar, especially from Mandy Moore, and the tension is lacking in numerous scenes where it should have been at its peak.  There are some fun ridiculous moments to be had, and I can’t say I am as disappointed as I was with “The Mummy”, but there are still various holes that end up sinking what could have been a stupidly entertaining flick.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “47 Meters Down” here

What did you think of “47 Meters Down”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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