Wednesday, March 11, 2020

47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Length:  89 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: thefyzz, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, BF Distribution, Concorde Filmverleih, Constantin-Film, Joy n Cinema, NOS Audiovisuais, PVR Pictures, Paris Filmes, Reality Entertainment, Shaw Organisation, TriPictures, VVS Films, Volga, Concorde Home Entertainment, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment
Director: Johannes Roberts
Writers: Ernest Riera, Johannes Roberts
Actors: Nia Long, John Corbett, Sophie NĂ©lisse, Brianne Tju, Sistine Rose Stallone, Brec Bassinger, Corinne Foxx, Davi Santos, Khylin Rhambo

Blurb from IMDb: Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they've entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.

Cat’s Point of View:

I was rather excited when this movie became available on one of my subscribed streaming services. I had thoroughly enjoyed its predecessor, 47 Meters Down (2017), as apparent by my portion of our review for that film. Shark movie enthusiast that I am, I also ranked this sequel as #13 on our Top 20 Movies to Look Out For in August 2019.  

To be honest, I didn’t expect Uncaged to do very well at the box office in comparison to the first film. It was going against some seriously stiff competition in the summer blockbuster season. Still, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best that the content would stand up to the original and not fall prey to the missteps that cause many sequels to disappoint.

Considering that the writing and directing team remained the same for the sequel, I had some additional hope. Director Johannes Roberts (Forest of the Damned, Storage 24, The Strangers: Prey at Night) told SYFY Wire that he was inspired to do Uncaged because of his cave diving experiences while shooting the first 47 Meters Down. He wanted to play on the claustrophobia and inherent dangers of the cave diving experience ramped up to a crazier level due to the presence of sharks. Roberts indicated in that interview that the pitch for this sequel was essentially The Descent (2005) underwater.

Did it live up to that premise? I’d say so.

There are certainly parallels that can be drawn between Uncaged and the first 47 Meters movie. They both took some time with the additional character setup before anyone actually got in the water. In this case, I think the narrative involving the newish step-sisters was actually a bit more successful in setting up the rest of the film. The characters made some crazy choices, but hey – without those poor decisions, there wouldn’t be a movie, right?

Uncaged is laced with irony, both expected and unexpected jump-scares and some hella creepy darkness-dwelling sharks. The set design for this production was amazing.

It made sense that characters from the first movie wouldn’t be taking risks in the water again – so we get introduced to a new fresh-faced cast of Hollywood up-and-comers. A couple carry with them, some might say, the pressure of family legacy.

This is the feature film debut for both Sistine Rose Stallone (Entertainment Tonight, Home & Family, Inferno: The Making of 'The Expendables') and Corinne Foxx (Made in Hollywood, Live in Front of a Studio Audience: 'All in the Family' and 'Good Times', Sweet/Vicious). I’ve really enjoyed Corinne’s vivacious spirit as she works with her dad on Beat Shazam! (2017-). I digress.

When all is said and done, you have to take the proverbial step back and realize that this really is a creature feature in the vein of the 80s shocker classics. There are a couple twists on the standard shark-chomp cinema recipe here. The best thing to do when giving this movie a shot is to just float along for the ride. It’s not supposed to be a think-piece. I think too many critics have tried to take it a little too seriously.

I wouldn’t mind giving Uncaged a recommendation, and will probably watch it again with my teenager when ‘Shark Week’ rolls around.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score - 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 68%
Metascore – 43/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.3/10
IMDB Score – 5.0/10
CinemaScore – C+

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5

Movie Trailer:

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