'47 Meters Down: Uncaged' [BR+DVD+Digital]
(Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Rose Stallone, Brec Bassinger, et al / Blu-ray + DVD + Digital / PG-13 / 2019 / LGF)
Overview: Directed by Johannes Roberts and written by Roberts and Ernest Riera, '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' follows the diving adventure of four teenage girls exploring a submerged Mayan city.
Once inside, their rush of excitement turns into a jolt of terror as they discover the sunken ruins are a hunting ground for deadly great white sharks.
With their air supply steadily dwindling, the friends must navigate the underwater labyrinth of claustrophobic caves and eerie tunnels in search of a way out of their watery hell.
Blu-ray Verdict: Shark movies! What were once the pinnacle of horror movies and science fiction story telling that left impacts and a sense of fear of going into the water.
Like many things though, the demand for a new shark movie often leads to carbon copy projections that are all about cheese and little to please.
That said, I can't deny that these movies know how to recruit good looking people to play their puppets of shark massacre and this movie continues that trend.
Our bathing suit clad beauties are gorgeous to the eyes of those that like those forms and will be a major part of the first third of the movie.
Superficial components aside, the movie itself succeeds in keeping up a decent pace, managing to craft some suspenseful movie magic that thrill seekers are searching for.
This pace keeps things moving, holding little down time between shark strikes and navigating the maze-like caverns of the ruined city and therefore making time pass in the blink of an eye.
How is this accomplished? Well it comes down to two things. First is the setting. The film routinely manages to really use the setting as a canvas of terror, painting your worst nightmares of the dark to new levels.
Where the first one made the idea of being stranded on the ocean floor terrifying, this one pulls you into the confines of a cave, whose cramped corridors and dark rooms may deter you from ever going spelunking.
The second factor is integrating the sharks much more into this film. Yes, in the first one they were there, but they were more of a setting feature that seemed to be looming rather than really tearing things up like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea.
In this case, the sharks are certainly the terrifying behemoths you search for in the films, with a new design to go with their traditional voracious appetite.
These creatures are more than willing to get their toothy maws into new scenes and really add to the terror at hand.
Yet with all the improvements in suspense and the terror painted by the CGI squad in terms of shadow crafting and claustrophobia there were some things that still did not deliver the full bite.
The story for one thing swam backwards towards a weaker pace, built not on an accident, but on stupidity of teenagers doing things they weren't supposed to and trying to correct it.
It does certainly pick up in the caves, but one thing is for certain that you can figure out who is most likely not going to make it and just what is going to be around the bend ... mostly!
Certainly, the scares are much closer in this installment, but sadly its lost to the shaky camera work that inadvertently censored a number of the shark on human action.
But, does it capture the frenzy of the moment? Absolutely. Does it add to the terror and give you that sense of being this close to the action? Again yes, but in doing so it robs you of the clear-cut picture that the first one did better.
What the first also did better was the close calls vs. the hasty kills for in the first one, several close misses kept you guessing as to when someone would be shark bait. But in this one there comes a point where the near misses are practically eliminated and the bloody punishments are dealt rather quickly.
In addition, searching for a way out seems to drag a little at first, but again things seem to progress rapidly to the point of chuckling at the coincidences that befall them.
This brings me to probably the worst thing about this movie - the suspense of disbelief for the film continues to toy with the idea of everlasting air, swimming faster than the aquatic beasts and how many times someone can withstand contact with the monsters of the deep!
It's the magic of movies and storytelling, of course, I get that, but especially at the end the already ridiculous concept takes further dives into the deeper realm of nonrealistic stuff and eye rolling moments.
In closing, '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' is a shark movie, as a whole, we know that, but it also accomplishes the task of showcasing When Humans Meet Sharks rather nicely, overall.
Indeed, this sequel manages to achieve the goal of scarier areas that allow the sharks to hunt in a new style, bringing about two monsters for our players to dodge.
It's got a good pace and some suspense to it that should help get the shark week blues chased away, yet it's level of actual storytelling is nearly null and void here.
Still, I really enjoyed it much more than I thought I would and I give this a massive two thumbs up (!) for those of you wanting to watch something on a rainy Sunday afternoon! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
• Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Johannes Roberts, Producer James Harris, and Writer Ernest Riera
• Diving Deeper: Uncaging 47 Meters Down
Take home '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' and immerse yourself in the underwater world with exclusive special features, including audio commentary with writer-director Johannes Roberts, producer James Harris, and writer Ernest Riera; as well as the “Diving Deeper: Uncaging 47 Meters Down” featurette.
The Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.
Official '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' Website
'47 Meters Down: Uncaged' - "Filming Underwater" Special Feature
'47 Meters Down: Uncaged' - "Lying About Swimming" Special Feature
Official '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' Trailer