47 Metres Down
- Katherine McLaughlin
- 24 July 2017
Mandy Moore is a determined presence in this silly shark thriller from director Johannes Roberts
In 47 Metres Down Mandy Moore stars as Lisa, a woman recently dumped by her husband for being too boring. While holidaying in Mexico she decides to prove how fun she can be by kissing handsome strangers and climbing inside a rusty cage in the middle of the ocean with her sister Kate (Claire Holt) to commune with great white sharks. Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) directs and co-writes a tense and silly shark thriller that acts as a metaphor for Lisa's emotional state; she is left to navigate murky waters, learning how to survive the great unknown.
Lisa isn't as canny a character as say Nancy from The Shallows, and spends the film largely in panic mode after the dodgy cage inevitably plunges to the bottom of the ocean. It is up to trained scuba diver Kate to lend a hand and calm her sibling down, while they sit and wait to be rescued. As the bloodthirsty sharks surround the women, Roberts creates a suffocating and terrifying atmosphere. However, as the film wears on and the women run out of air supply so too does Roberts run out of ideas, turning to unnecessary hallucination sequences to draw out Lisa's ordeal.
There's clunky reasoning for not sending the women down extra air sooner and, though the sharks circle them closely, there isn't much in terms of gory feasting going on, with the camera swooping quickly away from the action. Too much time is spent watching Lisa swim around, and the fact that she's an inexperienced diver who can somehow make her way confidently through unfamiliar waters is baffling. Still, Matthew Modine as a mildly slimy captain who goes a little too in depth about the hazards of nitrogen narcosis is amusing, and Moore does her very best at conveying Lisa's determination in the face of danger.
General release from Wed 26 Jul.