It would seem that every year, Hollywood tries to instill in us the fear that the original Summer Blockbuster did. You know I’m talkin’ about Jaws. We get movies like Shark Night, The Shallows, Deep Blue Sea, Sharknadoes 1-4, and the classic Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, wherein, a huge Great White bites the Golden Gate Bridge. Apologies if that was a spoiler.
These films partake in the same time-honored tradition that still draws gore-hungry fans to the theater; they’re all about wildly aggressive sharks with the shared modus operandi of terrorizing beaches, boats, and, sometimes, even outer space.
I very rarely — if ever — include spoilers in any of my reviews. That said, there will be a light dusting of them here. I will not include anything that could possibly ruin the movie-going experience for you, because that’s simply not possible with this film.
Lisa (Mandy Moore) and her sister, Kate (Claire Holt), are on vacation in Mexico. Lisa was supposed to be there with her boyfriend, Stuart, but as it is swiftly unveiled, he split because she was “too boring.”
Now that you know literally everything you need to about the back story, let’s get right to the good stuff. There isn’t much, so bear with me.
After Lisa’s harrowing revelation about her breakup, Kate suggests the two go dance the pain away. They meet a couple of tall, dark, and handsome locals. The guapos invite them for a shark cage dive with their illegitimate outfit that includes but is not limited to:
- a floating apparatus that one might call a boat
- a rusted over cage that is a series of tetanus shots waiting to happen
- crew that address the girls’ very valid concerns by calling them gringas while they very illegally chum the waters
Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) — a maybe bad guy — gives a quick lesson on SCUBA since nobody really checked to see if they were trained outside of someone asking, “You guys have been diving before, right?” to which the girls reply by side-eyeing one another before nodding and smiling.
Lisa’s apprehension to enter the cage is quelled by her sister’s excitement, and the two venture into the waters below against her better judgement. Once submerged, Lisa is taken by the Deep Blue SEAnery, while Kate’s cheerful demeanor spirals downward into panic.
A rattly ruckus from atop the cage spooks the sisters, and Taylor’s voice comes over their headsets. He announces he’ll be bringing them back up with worry in his voice.
Are you sitting down? Because you are not going to believe what happens next.
The winch holding the cage up breaks and they fall. Now, I’m sure you’re probably wondering how far they fell. I was pretty curious myself. Seemed like a long way. Turns out, it was 47 Meters Down that they sank. Do you know how I know that? Because they say it. A lot. I’m daft, so I appreciate the repetition. I can’t be expected to watch for sharks and remember what movie I’m watching.
Once at the bottom, Lisa and Kate discover that the walkie-talkie system in their helmets is just out of reach from Taylor on the boat. Apparently 47 Meters Down is just enough Meters Down to have to leave the friendly confines of their rusty tomb to swim far enough toward the surface and communicate that they didn’t die yet.
For the next hour or so, Lisa and Kate will both take turns leaving the cage for various reasons. Eventually, they’ll obtain a new winch, almost escape, and drop again due to some flimsy rope.
The second time they fell, the theater erupted in laughter.
A few highlights:
- Lisa swimming somewhere to do something, very nearly becoming shark food, and uttering the phrase, “The shark almost got me”
- Kate trying to lift Lisa’s spirits while they sit at the bottom of the ocean, running out of breathable air, by saying, “On the bright side, imagine if Stuart could see you now”
- Lisa getting her leg stuck under the cage the second time they fall and eventually shooting herself in the hand with a spear gun
Ladies and gentlemen, I won’t spoil the end of the movie for you. I’d never do that. That said, I’m pretty sure M. Night Shyamalan came in to direct the last 8 minutes of this because there is a twist. Oh, buddy, is there ever a twist.
All in all, my disdain for shark related films stems from their inability to showcase a shark in its natural habitat just doing shark stuff. They’ve always gotta be these monsters, and they’re not. Truth be told, sharks are the ones in danger, not us. But that’s another story for a different day.
The film had shoddy dialogue, a shaky plot, and too much tetanus for me. Not only did these dingbats get on a boat with strangers after lightly mulling over the possibility of being murdered, one of them drops the camera and the other can’t hold onto a flare to save her life. Literally. So, this movie should be call The Butterfinger Sisters and should be about dropping the ball in every conceivable way.