November 18, 2019  (Web Review)

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Lionsgate, 90 min., PG-13, DVD: $29.99, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $39.99, Nov. 12

Reviewer rating: 1.5/4

Perhaps every year needs a sharksploitation movie, but this sequel is just plain silly. Set on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the aquatic thriller introduces the step-sibling daughters of American archeologist Grant (John Corbett) and his wife Jennifer (Nia Long). At school, Grant’s shy, awkward daughter Mia (Sophie Nélisse) often embarrasses Jennifer’s outgoing, popular daughter Sasha (Corinne Foxx). When Grant plans a weekend reconciliation trip for the bickering girls, work interferes, so they are sent on a shark-watching excursion. But instead of taking the planned tour, the girls join Sasha’s friends—Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone)—to explore a picturesque lagoon that’s connected to part of the submerged Mayan archeological site that Grant and his team are investigating. Using scuba gear they found floating on a raft, the bikini-clad girls descend into the first chamber of the catacombs to see the spooky temple statues. But after being startled by a fish, one diver accidently knocks over a stone relic, after which a ravenous, blind albino shark—alerted by the frantic flailing—causes the entrance tunnel to collapse, trapping the group inside. And the only way they can escape is by diving deeper into the labyrinthine submerged city, a journey punctuated by mask-muffled shrieking. Working from a minimalist script, director Johannes Roberts relies on claustrophobia, slow-motion, and jump scares, completely ignoring the fact that the girls’ oxygen tanks had already dropped from 100% to 40% during the first skirmish. Not recommended. (S. Granger)