Round the bends

Sis­ters bond dur­ing a shark at­tack. What, you couldn’t do it dur­ing a zom­bie apoc­a­lypse like other movie sib­lings?

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Movies - Re­view by DAVIN ARUL en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

47 Meters Down

Di­rec­tor: Jo­hannes Roberts Cast: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Mo­dine, Chris John­son, Yani Gell­man

LET’S get this straight: this is not a movie about an in­trepid util­ity com­pany re­pair­man risk­ing life and limb to re­pair 47 bro­ken elec­tric meters in a rough in­ner city neigh­bour­hood.

Darn you, Amer­i­can spell­ing! And that’s “neigh­bour­hood” with a “u”.

It’s about two Amer­i­can sis­ters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) on hol­i­day in Mex­ico.

They hook up with a cou­ple of lo­cal lads and, be­cause one sis­ter doesn’t want to be “the bor­ing one” any more, they de­cide to go on a dare­devil shark cage div­ing trip with a dodgy sea cap­tain (Matthew Mo­dine).

He com­mands an equally dodgy-look­ing boat that makes Quint’s Orca (from Jaws) look like a guided mis­sile frigate.

Long story short (be­cause I’m not re­ally up to mak­ing the film’s short story long), there’s a winch mal­func­tion and, in­stead of be­ing just five me­tres down, they end up on the seabed, 47 meters – me­tres! – down.

Sur­rounded by sharks and run­ning out of air, not too deep down but far enough that they can’t swim for it without get­ting a fa­tal case of the bends ... get the idea?

As sur­vival shark tales go, this is not bad.

It has its share of jump scares, white-knuckle mo­ments, and more than a few ridicu­lous bits.

Like some­one who has never scuba-dived sud­denly be­ing able to swim out over a mini-abyss, dodge sharks, re­trieve stuff and find her way back to the downed cage.

Yeah, guess be­ing a singer­song­writer-ac­tress has its priv­i­leges.

Credit should be given to di­rec­tor and co-writer Jo­hannes Roberts (whose re­sume con­tains lots of so-so hor­ror out­ings like The Other

Side Of The Door and Stor­age 24) for mak­ing op­ti­mum use of the claus­tro­pho­bic shark cage to wring sus­pense and sym­pa­thy for the two generic sib­lings.

The sense of hope­less­ness for the pro­tag­o­nists also adds to the over­all ef­fect – when they’re not stretch­ing the lim­its of cred­i­bil­ity, that is.

Oh, and the shark scenes are sud­den and ex­plo­sive like you’d fig­ure an apex predator’s at­tacks would be.

Al­though, speak­ing strictly in terms of cin­e­matic ef­fect and thrills, I kind of pre­ferred last year’s The Shal­lows, with its kamikaze shark and all.

— GSC Movies

‘On the plus side, at least we’re not in that movie Deep Blue Sea, or the shark would have picked the lock by now.’

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