Combustible Celluloid Review - No Way Up (2024), Andy Mayson, Claudio Fäh, Colm Meaney, Sophie McIntosh, Phyllis Logan, Grace Nettle, Manuel Pacific, Jeremias Amoore, Will Attenborough, James Carroll Jordan
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With: Colm Meaney, Sophie McIntosh, Phyllis Logan, Grace Nettle, Manuel Pacific, Jeremias Amoore, Will Attenborough, James Carroll Jordan
Written by: Andy Mayson
Directed by: Claudio Fäh
MPAA Rating: R for language and bloody/grisly images
Running Time: 90
Date: 02/16/2024

No Way Up (2024)

1 Star (out of 4)

Sharks on a Plane

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Although it starts on a not-bad idea, Claudio Fäh's disaster thriller No Way Up is preposterously, laughably bad, taking itself too seriously and packed with poor acting, poor dialogue, poor continuity, and poor logic.

Several vacationers prepare for a fun trip to Cabo San Lucas. The daughter of the governor, Ava (Sophie McIntosh), boards with her boyfriend Jed (Jeremias Amoore) and Jed's best friend Kyle (Will Attenborough). Under orders from the governor, Ava's hyper-alert bodyguard Brandon (Colm Meaney) also tags along, but promises he'll stay out of the way. Additionally, young English girl Rosa (Grace Nettle) is spending some time with her grandparents Mardy (Phyllis Logan) and Hank (James Carroll Jordan).

Flight attendant Danilo (Manuel Pacific) sees to their needs. That is, until the plane strikes a flock of birds and crashes into the ocean. With only six souls left alive, dependent on a pocket of air in the submerged plane, they must find a way to escape. But even if they could swim back up to the surface, there's another problem to deal with: a school of deadly sharks.

Like so many post-Jaws shark movies, No Way Up swims along on the bare minimum, perhaps expecting the toothy villains to sell the movie by themselves. Certainly the humans aren't going to do that. Phyllis Logan and Colm Meaney are accomplished actors elsewhere, but you'd never know it watching them in this. Struggle as they may, they can't bite through the material's mediocrity. The others fare so badly that we begin to hope that they'll become shark food (especially the irritating Kyle, who cruelly harasses the gay flight attendant Danilo and seems to have a poorly-timed, poorly-conceived one-liner for every grim situation).

The filmmakers can't even properly explain just where the characters are in the plane, and how the air bubble occurs; it doesn't seem to match with the exterior shots of the slowly-cracking-apart underwater plane. No Way Up is the screenwriting debut of producer Andy Mayson, who brought us the suspenseful 47 Meters Down and its abysmally bad, unneeded sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. It seems as if Mayson — who also produced this — is merely cashing in on shark fever, without the bother of making a good movie.

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