Review: 47 Meters Down

If there’s anything Hollywood loves more than money, it’s replicating ideas that already exist. After the success of last year’s The Shallows, we’re treated to another woman-harassed-by-shark film – 47 Meters Down.

Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are two sisters vacationing in Mexico. Two locals tell them about a boat they know of that can take them cage diving to see sharks up close. After a little back-and-forth, Lisa and Kate agree and lock themselves in the rustiest shark cage on a boat that should be named  Super Sketchy Shark Boat.

The two aren’t in the cage long before  the winch breaks and hurls them 47 meters down to the seafloor. Out of communication range from the boat, Lisa and Kate attempt to find their way to the surface before they run out of oxygen or get eaten by a great white shark. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book on the worst ways to die.

Unlike The Shallows, 47 Meters showcases more dumb decisions than sharks. Lisa and Kate act like toddlers stuck in a play pen. Despite being told numerous times to stay inside the cage, they frequently and recklessly leave the cage. That’s one of many hilariously bad decisions that are made. This Tyra Banks clip is the perfect reaction for every time Lisa or Kate made some ill-advised decision that put their lives in danger.

The sharks aren’t the real villains, its human stupidity and arrogance that actually kills people. The only danger Lisa and Kate find themselves in is the danger they put themselves in. The sharks are just being sharks. Some of the decisions made are so hilarious, it’s impossible not to laugh out loud. The film is a laugh track away from being a new hit comedy on NBC. A movie like this should make audiences yell, “GIRL! LOOK OUT!!!”. Instead there are 8-10, “What is you doin’?” moments.

As predictable and perplexing as the plot is, there is an amazing shark sequence at the end of the film. It’s beautifully shot and gives off the Jaws vibes people want in their shark attack movies.  It’s the most intense moment and what most people hoped the entire movie would be. It’s such a great scene; it almost doesn’t fit with the rest of the film.

Mandy Moore and Claire Holt aren’t given much to do besides be shark bait and make bad decisions for 89 minutes. The plot tries to inject a back story to make audiences care about the two main characters but it doesn’t work. And what’s the point? We’re all here to see you get eaten by a great white, not see you cry about your failed relationship. Wipe off those tears with chum and jump in the water. That’s what we want to see!

47 Meters Down isn’t a bad movie, just a silly shark movie that requires its characters and audience to be dumb in order for it to be entertaining.

Grade: C-