Thursday, June 29, 2017

Movie Review: "47 Meters Down" (2017)

Director: Johannes Roberts
Year: 2017
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Two sisters vacationing in Mexico decide to go shark watching, where they will be in an underwater shark cage just a few inches from the gigantic creatures. When their cage breaks from the winch, the ladies sink 47 meters below the surface and are left stuck in the cage surrounded by sharks.

Obligatory annual shark movie!

"47 Meters Down" is directed by Johannes Roberts, who is known for unleashing last year's god awful "The Other Side of the Door" on the human population. He also helped write this film along with Ernest Riera, who previously worked with Roberts on the aforementioned atrocity. It stars Mandy Moore and Claire Holt as Lisa and Kate, two sisters vacationing in Mexico. One day, the two go shark watching for the most asinine reason ever: so Lisa can show her ex-boyfriend she isn't boring. The boat they go on looks run down as hell and is captained by an American named Taylor, played by Matthew Modine, who looks a bit shady, like he's in Mexico to avoid prosecution for some unknown crime he committed back in the states. Of course, the dilapidated winch attached to the rickety, rusted ass cage malfunctions, which lands them 47 meters under the ocean, surrounded by great white sharks, as they are forced to fight for their survival.

It turns out, "47 Meters Down" was initially meant to be released straight-to-DVD, and it shows from the opening moments of the film. Thanks to the success of last years "The Shallows," the distributor decided to give this relatively low budget thriller a theatrical release. It appears their gamble paid off as it has made $26 million and counting domestically at the time of this review.

One good thing we will say about this flick is it does have its moments of tension. Any time the girls need to leave their cage for the myriad of reasons the writers have thought up, you know there will be a shark nearby and a possible attack is looming. Another good thing is, luckily, the sharks don't looks like CGI monstrosities. They do manage to look decent, especially for a movie made with a $5 million budget. That being said, if a movie promises sharks, one would expect lots of them, and these sharks are off screen for the majority of the movie. They are primarily used as a device to cause a jump scare or two whenever needed. Any time there is a shark on screen, whenever someone is getting attacked by a shark, or when we are looking at the well executed gory aftermath makeup of a shark attack, the film is just fine.

However, everything else surrounding those brief moments of thrills is complete garbage. As we said above, the entire catalyst for Lisa and Kate's shark expedition is because Lisa has just been dumped by her boyfriend Stuart because he thought she was too boring and flounced from their relationship. It's such a condescending reason to do something, and a giant cliche on top of it. So much of the dialogue revolves around this *~mystical, magical~* Stuart, and "oh, what would he think of me now that I proved to him I can be fun?!?!" type discussions. It's absolutely pathetic! On top of this, the acting is mediocre at best. The roles don't call for much, other than tons of screams, loads of crying, and some sisterly strife to beef up the drama. By far, the most annoying part of "47 Meters Down" is how much occurs to worsen Lisa and Kate's situation. One disaster after the other happens, and the writers feel the need to keep on piling on the clunkiness. Isn't being stuck at the bottom of a deep, dark ocean in a cage encircled by great whites with a dwindling air supply enough? It starts to get a little annoying and predictable, especially since Modine's only purpose in the movie is to give exposition on why certain solutions are not an option for the women.

Look, we know lots of people will love "47 Meters Down," especially younger audiences. If you don't care about story and want a slightly tense movie with a bunch of killer shark jump scares, this might be right up your alley. If, like us, you want a little bit more than a couple of trite shark encounters, expendable and throwaway characters, witless reasons to do idiotic things, and far too many jump scares for our liking, skip this mostly forgettable movie and watch the vastly superior "The Shallows."

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%
Do we recommend this movie: No.


  1. Populace. Populuous is a adjective.

    1. AN adjective. I hate Siri.

    2. Hello, unknown! Thanks for catching our mistake. Auto-correct sure happens to the best of us, huh? ;)

  2. This movie is honestly so bad I want to own it on Blu-ray