Sometimes you’ve just got to lean into a piece of art…if you can even call it that…
While calling 47 Meters Down: Uncaged a piece of art is still TECHNICALLY accurate, people will drift away from its trashy nature and dismiss it. The only problem with that is that this movie is actually a hell of a lot of fun and one of those rare moments where the sequel actually improves on the original material.
Four teenage girls (Corinne Foxx, Sistine Stallone, Sophie Nélisse, and Brianne Tju) explore a submerged Mayan City. Once inside, their rush of excitement turns into a jolt of terror as they discover the sunken ruins are a hunting ground for deadly Great White Sharks. With their air supply steadily dwindling, the friends must navigate the underwater labyrinth of claustrophobic caves and eerie tunnels in search of a way out of their watery hell.
These movies really only work when the entire ensemble is buying into the material with 100% abandon, and thankful here with 47 Meters Down: Uncaged we get that in ample spades.
Co-Writer and Director Johannes Roberts returns here to the centre chair and that only helps the material on a whole as he really does have a keen sense of where the story has to go. I mean you’ve got to be in on the joke if only a little bit if you’re making a movie about a teenage girl’s scuba diving in an ancient Mayan cave and being hunted by blind Great White Sharks!
The murky nature of the caves helps to mask the digital sharks that are after the girls and actually makes it all a little tenser as we get deeper into the story. Roberts allows for less to do more as it isn’t just 90 minutes of tension and he sprinkles in some fairly deprecating humor in along the way.
Whereas the first film wanted to be somewhat more of a straight up scary affair like The Descent this plays a little more in the vein of a Deep Blue Sea which still has plenty of tension and action but allows for the occasionally knowing wink to the audience that they are watching something pretty silly.
The young cast, lead by Canada’s own Sophie Nelisse is fine but doesn’t exactly have to do any heavy lifting either as both the daughters of Jamie Foxx and Sly Stallone turn up here in the ensemble. They just all need to be scared to death as they try to get out of this ridiculous situation. John Corbett gets some fun moments as the dad trying to rescue them while both he and Nia Long round out the ensemble.
Obviously this isn’t a straight or direct sequel to the original 47 Meters Down but that’s why it’s actually an improvement from the original.
Rather than a film about a tragic diving mishap we see a bunch of teenage girls doing something colossally stupid which really is the benchmark of most horror films in the modern age. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is just a dumb balls to the wall creature feature and it was never aspiring for anything more as it’s the movie you kick up your feet to with a large bag of popcorn and enjoy every silly second of it.