In 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, a group of young women make the fateful decision to go scuba diving in an underwater city. Little do they know, the ancient ruins are home to a clan of blood-thirsty sharks. Oops.
Allow me to cut right to the chase: My single biggest issue with 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is the piss poor, melodramatic performances. The acting is impossible to get past. It’s distractingly bad. In fact, the perilous sequences end up coming across as comical instead of terrifying because there is no point at which any key player manages to be believable in their performance.
Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, and Sistine Stallone play the lead roles and not one of them demonstrates a lick of acting ability. It’s as if director Johannes Roberts was banking on the pedigree of Stallone (daughter of Sylvester) and Foxx (daughter of Jamie) and the success of the first film to carry this dud of a sequel. And it truly is a dud in every way imaginable.
Some of the blame for the film’s failure lies with the script (by original 47 Meters Down scribes Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera). It is filled with clunky dialogue that had me asking myself, ‘Who talks like that?’ And the lack of conviction with which it is recited had me questioning if perhaps the actors felt the same way?
The characters are so one-dimensional that I actually had a hard time telling them apart once they were in their diving gear. Their sole purpose is to serve as shark bait. But, the disappointing thing is that none of the onscreen deaths are all that remarkable. There’s very little bloodshed and the effects are not great.
I marathoned the two films back to back in preparation for this review and they don’t even feel like they came from the same creator. The original (also directed by Johannes Roberts) was tense and exciting and full of twists and turns. The performances were mostly solid and the outcome unpredictable. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is none of those things. This time around, Roberts relies far too heavily on bizarre slow motion sequences, clunky exposition, and unremarkable scares.
This installment should have been a direct-to-DVD sequel, rather than a wide theatrical release. It’s a shame to see films like this getting the royal treatment and superior efforts getting a (very) limited theatrical bow with a simultaneous VOD exhibition.
The film’s only saving graces are the set design and cinematography. It was shot (in part) on location in The Dominican Republic. The one and only positive thing I can say is that the beauty of the locale, the underwater photography, and the set construction at least give the viewer something pretty to look at.
As for special features on the home video release, there is a twelve minute making of featurette that explores the dynamic between the characters and the off screen friendship that blossomed between the cast members. There’s also a commentary with director Johannes Roberts if you’re interested in hearing about his (often questionable) decision making process. You can catch 47 Meters Down: Uncaged on DVD and Blu-ray now. But, if I were you, I wouldn’t.
WICKED RATING: 2/10
Director(s): Johannes Roberts
Writer(s): Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera
Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, and Sistine Stallone
Release: November 12, 2019 (Home Video)
Studio/ Production Co: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, LionsGate
Budget: $12 Million (estimated)
Sub-Genre: Killer Creatures