47 Meters Down: Uncaged (PG13)
Starring Sophie Nelisse, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, John Corbett
Directed by Johannes Roberts
The year’s second nature-strikes-back thriller, after the recent alligators-infested Crawl, is a sequel to 2017’s shark-themed 47 Meters Down, Actually, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged isn’t so much a sequel, but a ‘requel’ — a remake disguised as a sequel. Both movies share the same plot: divers with diminishing oxygen surrounded by hungry Great Whites.
Except this time, instead of a damaged shark cage in the original movie, the doomed explorers — four expat high school gals (among them The Book Thief’s Sophie Nelisse and Sistine Stallone, daughter of Sylvester) — are trapped in a Mayan city in an underwater cavern, presumably 47 metres below the surface. The result is a queasy cross between 127 Hours and The Descent, but with sharks.
So, if you have issues with tight spaces, you’ll have a big problem with this movie. Director Johannes Roberts does such a sublime job turning the submerged ruins (recreated in a water tank in London) into a character just as menacing as the CG sharks stalking the ladies.
Brisk, brief (long live the 90-minute movie!) and occasionally silly, this creature-feature is no Oscar contender where you come for, you know, 'character development'. But it's an effective time-killer and proof that you don’t need big bucks and big stars to deliver a high-tension, nightmare-inducing ride. Hey, The Meg, I’m talking about you. (***1/2)
Photos: Shaw Organisation