47 Meters Down Uncaged Review

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original 47 Meters Down film. I can’t really say that it’s much different from the first film. In general I don’t think the plot leaves the movie a lot of room to be all that good. For starters there is almost guaranteed to be some kind of animal violence in a film with sharks all around. On another note the ocean setting just isn’t great. Give me the city any day. You more or less know what to expect in a film like this and I’d say that there are no surprises here so you really shouldn’t be surprised one way or the other after watching it.

The movie starts of by introducing us to Mia and Sasha. Mia was adopted into the family and doesn’t have a great relationship with her step sister Sasha. Mia gets bullied all the time in school such as being thrown into a pool and Sasha never steps in to help. Their parents decide to get them to spend time together by having them spend a day in one of those underwater shark tanks. Neither girl is excited about this, but orders are orders. Sasha’s friends end up appearing though and convince the two to ditch the plans and head to an abandoned underwater city. Despite being warned not to go anywhere near this place the 4 girls head down and promptly break the entrance so nobody can get back out. Now they are stuck underwater with some very large sharks and a dwindling air supply. Which girl(s) will make it out of this alive?

As per slasher film tradition you can more or less guess you will live through this film by the end. If you’ve seen enough of these films you’ll likely guess 100% correctly. The main thing to keep in mind for horror films like this is that karma hits really quickly and even an innocent mistake will be remembered and used against you. The main character typically has plot armor so the question is if the armor will expand to protect someone else or if everyone is doomed. I’ll let you make you guesses and think about it. This review isn’t for spoiler details like exactly who survives.

That being said, there isn’t a whole lot of fun to be had in this movie. I also think some parts randomly drag a bit. The intro is a good example of this. The film starts off with a nice atmosphere as we see a bunch of skulls and some good underwater visuals. Then…this scene keeps on playing. After a few minutes you’re waiting for the actual film to start. We then get a super slow shot of someone falling into the water before the film finally starts. The whole thing was way too long and destroyed the potential effectiveness of the scene. It was a little unfortunate because otherwise you do always want a suspenseful start like what the film was trying to go for.

Another thing hurting the film is the cast of characters. There aren’t really many likable ones to be found here. Sasha’s friends come across as rather fake as they clearly don’t like Mia but put up with her since they want to hang out with Sasha. They were quite willing to ditch Mia which would have left her alone with the bullies and no supervision. Those aren’t really the best friends to ave at the ready even if Mia seems oblivious at times or is just trying to make the best of the situation. It’s also hard for Sasha to recover from the opening scene. Even if she doesn’t like Mia all that much they are sisters so you’d expect her to at least help when the bullies are around. Letting Mia get pushed into the water like that was pretty bad.

The parents are good characters at least. There’s only so much they can do to get the two step sisters to get along, but they do their best. Their heart’s in the right place at least. Mia admittedly doesn’t make things any easier, but we can assume that this has been going on for quite a while so by now it’s easy to see why she’s pretty upset. You can only be bullied for so long before you start to feel pretty down all the time. Also the bullies do outnumber her 4-1 so it would be pretty hard to fight back as well.

As far as the writing goes, the film’s not great but I’ve seen worse. The characters are all pretty obnoxious and make all of the worst decisions so it’s hard to root for them. They are intentionally breaking as many rules as possible which isn’t great and one of them was mainly responsible for everything going wrong by swimming off by herself. Nicole is easily the worst character by the way. You’ll see why if you watch the film as she is directly responsible for just about everything that goes wrong here. The teenagers are the stereotypical ones you’d expect to see in a film like this. It’s a shame that teens have such a bad rep. No worries we also get the “teens always have earphones on” part so someone doesn’t notice people about to get eaten right in front of him. It’s all pretty tragic for all parties involved.

In terms of violence the film does get pretty intense so you’ll want to watch out for that. There is some shark violence as expected which is also a shame. This is why films like this should either go for Mummified Sharks which can’t bleed or robotic ones. That would go a long way to making the film a lot better. Otherwise you are guaranteed to hit this snag and that’s just not going to end up well for anyone. An underlining theme in the film is that you have to resist peer pressure or you may get eaten by a shark. It’s a pretty solid morale because while that may not be what literally happens to you in real life, peer pressure can often lead you into some pretty sticky situations. You really want to learn how to resist that early on.

Overall, 47 Meters Down Uncaged is not a film that I’d recommend. Having access to the rest of the ruins makes for a much more engaging backdrop than being stuck in a small cave, but being underwater was never great anyway. Having sharks as the main villain is a self defeating concept and the characters weren’t that good. Even Mia as the main heroine wasn’t all that solid. If you really like shark films then you should check it out. There’s a homage to Deep Blue Sea that you’re bound to recognize because it’s basically the exact scene copy and pasted into this film.

Overall 3/10

The Meg Review

It’s time to look at a pretty recent shark film known as The Meg. This one definitely had an interesting trailer for the most part although it definitely seemed to shift in tone quite a bit. For the most part this film takes itself seriously but always keeps a light tone throughout. It makes enough mistakes to keep it from being a good film, but does avoid the critical error involving a dog that could have been tricky.

The film starts off with a group of divers heading lower than they’ve ever gone before. They’re in a submarine so at least they feel pretty safe against the elements. They are a part of a group that is being funded by a billionaire known as Jack. Unfortunately they are attacked by a giant shark known as Meg. There is now no way to bring them back up so the team is forced to call in former expert Jonas. Jonas quit because of an incident where he was attacked by a giant shark and was only able to save most of his team. Well, they want him to go back in the ocean again, but can Jonas really face the same beast twice?

Meg is one of those movies where the plot gradually changes as the film goes on. If you watch the trailer before seeing the movie you can guess what the final act will be as you are waiting for the scene to happen for a very long time. The movie is pretty fun. There’s good pacing and the plot is certainly engaging. While the cast isn’t amazing, they’re better than what I’d consider to be the average for this kind of film. I may as well say up front that the film did a great job in saving the dog. There’s a scene where you think it may be all over for the little guy and it was going to be over for the film’s score as well. Fortunately that didn’t end up happening which saved the film 2 stars I’d say. Now that could work as a jump scare, but I still think films should mainly avoid the animal angle.

Of course, it does put the film in a dicey predicament as the main villain is an animal. How do you stop Meg without injuring her? Well, the quick answer is that you can’t and that limits the film’s potential from the start. Naturally I’m rooting for Meg the whole time because she is just trying to live in a tough world. It’s the pesky humans who keep getting in her way all the time. Meg makes for a good antagonist. She’s pretty huge and certainly vicious. Meg puts up a great fight throughout the film.

While the film’s theme is nowhere near as hype as the classic Jaws tune, the movie does its best to give Meg a theme as well. It works reasonably well in setting up the tone for her scenes. The effects are solid as well. Now lets talk about the human characters. I thought Jack was a pretty solid character. The billionaires in these films are always a lot of fun. Of course, you get the feeling they’re gonna die as soon as they appear since that’s pretty much a staple for this character type. Well, at least his scenes are very memorable throughout. He’s constantly talking tough and for the most part thought things through well. He just got a little sloppy by the end. I also don’t see how you can trip in such a situation, but it felt like all the characters in this film were constantly tripping. I guess the boats can be slippery.

Jonas makes for a good lead. Contrary to Dr. Heller’s assessment, he made the right call when leaving the ship in the intro. I thought that should have been obvious when the whole thing exploded seconds later. They all would have died. Jonas still goes back to help everyone out even though he isn’t particularly thrilled at the prospect. He tackles all of the tough jobs including using himself as live bait. I do think the heroes started stretching their luck with some of the plans though like having him swim towards the shark and launching a tracker. From that close distance in all likelihood Jonas would have been doomed. It’s basically a suicide mission but the characters don’t act like it’s that dangerous.

So, the writing can be a bit dicey at times, but it isn’t terrible or anything. Another instance of bad writing it one of the side characters. He’s basically only around to crack dicey jokes and is one of the first guys to go. He’s another guy where you know he is doomed from the start. He doesn’t add anything to the film and that’s certainly worth noting. The main heroine is good though. Suyin is always ready to jump into danger and is the first one on the rescue mission to help the stranded divers. Her daughter also gets quite a bit of screen time. She can be a bit iffy when trying to play matchmaker but definitely knows a lot about the sub. It’s always good to start learning about tech and such at a young age.

Overall, The Meg is an action film that delivers on everything it promises. There are some films where you basically know exactly what you are getting into from the start. This is one of those movies and that’s not a bad thing. The film’s consistent. It still lost a lot of points for animal violence and a dicey script, but if you’re not someone who minds the animal violence part then you’ll probably enjoy the film. The action scenes are on point and Meg definitely lives up to her hype of being a huge shark.

Overall 3/10