47 Meters Down Uncaged removes its metal gratings for an equally suffocating submergence. So, for some reason, a sequel was commissioned for 47 Meters Down. A shark thriller that played out its entire second half as a hallucinatory waste of time. Director Roberts is back, only this time he has decided to remove the cage diving experience and settle for something a little less constrained. A submerged ancient Mayan city, where stone columns seemingly cause radio interference, acting as an enormous labyrinth of terror for blind great white sharks whom roam the claustrophobic narrow passageways. Four teenage girls and various archaeologists soon discover the perilous fins attached to these sharks, with limited oxygen supplies and no clear exit, time is running out for them to escape this treacherous environment in one piece.
Several questions start swirling around. Is the sunken city actually 47 meters down? If not, that’s false advertising. Can cavefish hiss to cause jump scares? That’s including the sharks. Can music submerged underwater somehow match the clarity of its volume if it weren’t? How will the girls find their way out when their only entrance becomes blocked? Easy! Sheer dumb luck. A thriller, regardless of its terrain, needs to be thrilling. That much is obvious. This often arises when characters take intellectual steps to escape their current location or progress with their investigation. So, if four characters struggle to use an ounce of their combined brain cells to determine “actually, scuba diving to an unmapped ancient sacrificial chamber without a team of experts is not the greatest idea in the world”, it’s consequently impossible for one to become invested in the apparent thrills and tension that gradually increases as the runtime flows on. That’s just one example.
They swiftly determine that the shark stalking them, which somehow conveniently bypasses tiny crevices, is blind. So what do they do? Continually scream and flail their limbs to alert the shark as quickly as possible. This then causes a plethora of bubbles to fill the frame which, blended with the clouds of silt, eventual darkness and close-up camera shots, makes nearly every underwater scene inexplicably difficult to see anything. No idea whom is being descended by a cascading current or whom is crying like a banshee. Impartial visibility means sound is being relied upon, which in this instance comprises of soft moans and rampart breathing. Each time a blatantly obvious CGI shark quietly approaches the girls, a loud piercing noise accompanies the uninspired jump scare. The girls themselves were generally unlikeable, each conceding to basic peer pressure and fluctuating hostility. The acting ranged from mediocre to downright terrible, particularly Corbett portraying Mia’s father. The ostentatious slow motion. The utter convenience of the last ten minutes. Urgh!
However, having said all of that, at least there was no hallucination. Roberts has learnt from his previous narrative mistake. Rejoice! He just, y’know, still couldn’t create a thrilling shark “thriller” even on a second attempt. Drowning in conveniences, stupidity and loose tension, 47 Meters Down Uncaged is absent of any bite. Marking the last time I endure a shark film directed by Roberts.