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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

47 Meters Down Uncaged movie review: Even nepotistic casting can’t save this shallow sequel

47 Meters Down Uncaged movie review: More than anything else, this shallow and subpar sequel is a reminder that nepotism isn’t just a Bollywood thing. Rating: 1.5/5.

hollywood Updated: Sep 06, 2019 08:50 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
47 Meters Down Uncaged movie review: The schlocky survival thriller is let down by poor performances across the board.
47 Meters Down Uncaged movie review: The schlocky survival thriller is let down by poor performances across the board.
         

47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Director - Johannes Roberts
Cast - Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone
Rating - 1.5/5 

As far as bad first impressions go, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is operating in a league of its own. Produced by a company called Fyzz Pictures, the survival thriller even before the opening credits have finished, gives the impression that it is some sort of juvenile joke.

Things only get worse. The film is a testament to the depressing reality that no matter how amazing an original idea might be, Hollywood will always roll its eyes back in ecstasy at the slightest whiff of a franchise, no matter how poorly conceived. Because even though Uncaged has no narrative connection to the original 47 Meters Down - it tells a completely unrelated story, populated by a new set of characters - Fyzz Pictures would like to believe that there exists a faction of the audience that will perhaps watch a trailer for this film, recognise the trusted 47 Meters Down brand, slam their hard-earned money on the counter and demand a ticket.

Watch the 47 Meters Down: Uncaged trailer here 

Not only is Uncaged massively inferior to the original movie (which wasn’t all that great to begin with), it does away with the only thing that made the first 47 Meters Down marginally interesting. While the first film (also directed by Johannes Roberts) came up with the inventive set-up of stranding a couple of girls inside an underwater viewing cage, the second one, bless its progressiveness, lets them roam about freely.

By restricting its two protagonists within a claustrophobic space, the first film inadvertently restricted even itself. And like its two resourceful heroines, it found itself coming up with inventive new ways to wriggle out of tricky situations. And while the original film’s set-up was intrinsically scary precisely because of how relatable it was – any one of us could have an adventure sport-related mishap, it suggested – the second film’s existence depends entirely on the lead foursome’s persistent stupidity.

Corinne Foxx and Sophie Nelisse in a still from 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.
Corinne Foxx and Sophie Nelisse in a still from 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.

As they swim through underwater Mayan catacombs towards certain doom, one of them catcalls another, “Your a$$ can barely fit through,” and receives this stunning comeback in return: “Well, at least I have an a$$.”

Nearly 90% of this 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is set underwater, which isn’t ideal. But fortunately, you’ll have only about 80 minutes in which to acclimatise and surrender yourself to its murky visuals. It also doesn’t help that the performances are universally poor; so poor, in fact, that the expressions on each of the four lead actors’ faces suggests that a hungry shark is constantly nibbling at their legs, even when they’re on dry land.

Even the blessed Hollywood genes of Corinne Foxx and Sistine Stallone (daughters of Jamie and Sly), it turns out, are worthless in the face of a giant monster. I suppose we can add ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’ to 47 Meters Down: Uncaged’s list of crimes.

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

First Published: Aug 30, 2019 12:13 IST