’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’
Rated PG-13: Creature-related violence and terror, some bloody images and brief rude gestures.
Playing at: Premiere Cinemas and Cinemark Movies 16.
Credits: Directed by Johannes Roberts. Screenplay by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera. Original music by Tomandandy. Cinematography by Mark Silk. Edited by Martin Brinkler.
Stars: John Corbett, Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Davi Santos, Khylin Rhambo and Brec Bassinger.
Bill’s rating: One of five stars
How seriously should one approach a low-budget, boring sequel excelling only at being predictable?
“Forty-seven Meters Down: Uncaged” would work best as a Rifftrax presentation, something better discussed by goofy robots reminiscent of those calling Mystery Science Theater 3000 home?
This movie, after all, is worse than the “Jaws” sequels (2, 3-D and The Revenge), “The Reef” and “The Shallows.” The only semi-original moment arrives with John Corbett’s death, viewed either as a rip-off or a tribute to the Samuel L. Jackson surprise in “Deep Blue Sea.” Take your pick.
This underwater sequel serves as a cinematic debut for Corine Foxx and Sistine Rose Stallone. Recognize the names? Corine, 25, is the daughter of actor Jamie Foxx and his wife, the former Connie Kline. Sistine, 21, is the daughter of actor Sylvester Stallone and his wife, former model Jennifer Flavin.
Both are viewed clearly only during the first half hour, as a week-day high school bullying session leads to weekend diving.
Pre-swimming sequences only stress closeups of bikinis on young women.
When swimming, no one easily is recognized. Viewers worry more about potential underwater dangers.
Foxx stars as Sasha, both popular and snobby at a school for girls in Yucatan, Mexico. She moved there with stepsister Mia (played by Sophie Nelisse), whom she finds annoying. She also does not mind when friends bully her unmercifully.
Also in the home: their mom (Nia Long), and stepfather (Corbett), the latter leading a scuba exploration of Mayan caves lost to rising sea levels.
Hoping to ignore a free trip on a glass-bottom boat, a gift from their dad, Sasha would rather share her day with mean friends Nicole (Stallone) and Alexa (Brianne Tju). Mia, hoping their relationship improves, agrees to tag along.
Taking diving equipment stashed by others nearby, Sasha convinces her friends and sister to join her in exploring her father’s underground (and thus underwater) Mayan burial site.
What she does not know is the site also has been frequented by sharks, some blind after being trapped so long in the grotto without sunlight.
That condition makes them no less dangerous, or hungry.
A far better filmmaker would have at least created more tension when these girls, frightened by sharks, accidentally destroy centuries-old architecture.
Some will encounter physically tighter escape routes, battling claustrophobic feelings with sharks nearby.
Soon enough, visitors aboard the aforementioned glass-bottom boat have a clear view of sharks quickly pursuing school chums who desperately are trying to swim to the boat and safety?
Regretfully, the film’s audience knows who will swim fast enough and, for that matter, who is likely to show heroic tendencies.
That said, audiences will forget the unoriginal story just as quickly.
Gage’s rating: One-and-one-half of five stars
Is it fair to conclude some movies do not deserve to be made? And if those movies are made and turn out just as bad as expected, that they do not deserve an even worse sequel, right?
Well, now we have one of those sequels no one wanted or asked for: “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.”
Obvious question: Is it at least as scary as the original? Readers, the prospect of watching a sleeping kitten is more terrifying than this movie.
“Uncaged” is paced poorly. The film meanders about for so long, trying to be sexy thanks to young women in bikinis, then when a threat finally swims by, one viewer almost blurted out, “Oh yeah, there are sharks in this movie. That’s why we’re here.”
The next person then barely succeeds in holding back another yawn.
Characters are hardly challenging, with performances more at home in “Sharknado.”
Sophie Nélisse and Corinne Fox play sisters Mia and Sasha, respectively, while Brianne Tju and Sistine Rose Stallone play Sasha’s mean friends, Alexa and Nicole.
All but one are so immature, nasty and bullying that the audience instantly takes the side of the sharks.
Your honor, those sharks really looked hungry. I propose: Not guilty.
The sharks are given the cheaper Hollywood “I guess this is what a shark should look like” treatment. Locations differ and it’s difficult to know whether there might be 100 swimming around or just two. Then sharks suddenly thrash about – a traditional jump scare, only underwater, from director Johannes Roberts – and seconds later, one wonders who would believe sharks could swim so fast.
The story is weak. And yet, by now, what should one expect from a shark movie starring very young women in bikinis?
Walking in, I was not expecting “Good Will Hunting”-quality screenwriting. But even “Sharknado” did not run out of ideas.
Then bam! All of a sudden, Roberts rips off the movie “Deep Blue Sea,” as trusted veteran John Corbett is given the Samuel L. Jackson treatment!
That at least rattles everyone from a near-slumber.
Without that scene, the movie would be well served buried 47 meters deep in the $5 movie bin at a convenience store – another failed attempt at a money grab by a studio force-feeding a bad investment down the throats of consumers.
Move along. Nothing to see here. These are not the videos you’ve been looking for.
The only real winners are the sharks – because at least they are (sing along, now) “Hap-py sharks, do do do do do do, hap-py sharks…”