47 METERS DOWN

47 METERS DOWN REVIEWED

“47 Meters Down” is painfully average. But, what about the shark action? Whenever you discuss the film with people, that’s automatically where the conversation jumps. People seem willing to accept a weaker movie if it means that the sharks maul people. Hell, people are still willing to give “Deep Blue Sea” a pass due to Samuel L. Jackson getting destroyed. So, does anyone care about Mandy Moore or Claire Holt in the film?

Judging by the lack of a response to their sisterly relationship that opens the film…the answer is No. In fact, the film dies as you wait for the duo to stop talking about Moore getting dumped and needing to find a new man. But, what about the sharks? Well, the new Mexican boys that make Mandy Moore get her groove back offers to take the girls on a trip onto the High Seas. The ladies agree and that’s how Matthew Modine contractually appears in the film. Seriously. I forgot how tacked on the Modine role feels to the film.

ARE WE 47 METERS DOWN YET?

Matthew Modine is introduced as the boat captain that’s willing to chum waters and take the ladies into shark infested waters. He seems skeevy, but there’s a noble sincerity behind his eyes. Is it real? No. I’m projecting to make up for the faults in a role that never get developed. Anyway, Captain Modine screws up and drops our young ladies deep into the ocean. That’s where the plucky young women bond over a mutual lack of oxygen and fear of dying.

When they’re first waiting in their shark cage, the duo automatically use their fear of death to make peace of a life of competition. From there, it’s each lady discovering new talents that create PG-13 levels of tension to keep young audiences on the edge of their seat. If these scenes work on your teenager, take them in for testing after the show. While the diving scenes and underwater shots are amazing, the technical wonderment is all that matters.

WHY DOESN’T IT WORK?

So much time feels like it was spent nailing the feel of an underwater zoological landscape that the actors feel like a second thought. Yes, it’s hard to act when you’ve got huge chunks of diving equipment strapped to your face. It’s even harder to act when you’re paired with someone else also obstructed by diving gear. Modine chimes in by radio every once and awhile, but again it sounds like lines being read from after the fact. Thankfully, the film falls short of 90 minutes. If this was stretched to 90 minutes, you would be hearing far more negative reviews.

That being said, what’s the grand takeaway? “47 Meters Down” works as a technical experiment for underwater filming. The story has been done before and it’s been done with far more thought. Mandy Moore and Claire Holt try to hold focus, but the audience is just waiting for them to get mauled. Couple that with the inability to read their faces/direct emotion and it’s just a faux snuff film. Dump your kids in this one to punish the world while you see something better.

FILM STATS

  • PG-13
  • 1 hr and 29 mins
  • Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures/Tea Shop & Film Company/Freestyle Releasing

RELEASE DATE: 6/16/17

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