Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sistine Rose Stallone, Nia Long, Corinne Foxx, John Corbett, Brec Bassinger, Sophie Nélisse, Brianne Tju, Davi Santos, Khylin Rhambo
Written by: Ernest Riera, Johannes Roberts
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense peril, bloody images, and brief strong language
Running Time: 89
Date: 08/15/2019

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

1 Star (out of 4)

Fin-Lose Situation

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Having nothing to do with the tight, gripping original 47 Meters Down, this pointless, vacuous shark-related sequel is meandering and unfocused, with interchangeable characters and confusing visuals.

In 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, Mia (Sophie Nélisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx) are reluctant step-sisters, with Mia's father Grant (John Corbett) married to Sasha's mother Jennifer (Nia Long). Grant has discovered an underwater cavern and is busy mapping it out, so when Mia and Sasha are booked on a glass-bottom boat tour, Sasha convinces Mia to run off with her two best friends, Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Rose Stallone), instead.

Since she is dating an assistant of Grant's, Alexa knows where the cave is and brings the girls there to swim. Discovering a shipment of scuba-diving equipment, they decide to go exploring for themselves. Unfortunately, hungry sharks appear, and the girls find themselves trapped, with their air tanks running out.

Writer and director Johannes Roberts and co-writer Ernest Riera return from their crafty 2017 hit with entirely new characters, scenario, and location, but while the first movie deftly developed its two characters and then kept them in one spot, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged has four characters that rove all around a disorienting cave. It's impossible to tell at any given moment where anyone is, or who anyone is. (It's almost as bad as Open Water 3: Cage Dive.)

The four teen girls, covered in scuba gear, continually shout each other's names ("Mia!" "Alexa!" "Sasha!" Nicole!" "You guys!") as if that will help clear up just who they are. It doesn't. The swishy underwater photography and constantly swinging flashlights completely obscure the space of the action, rendering much of the attempted suspense inert.

Roberts is then reduced to turning his movie into a traditional slasher-type movie, with dumb jump-scares and sudden appearances, though none of it makes much sense. The ancient cavern setting could have been quite spectacular, but instead 47 Meters Down: Uncaged only serves to taint the memory of its predecessor.

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