’47 Meters Down’ has sharks, not much depth
Alas, something goes terribly wrong, and the sisters are left trapped at the ocean bottom, running low on air, with massive great whites in the water. Thanks to full-faced masks, the two can still communicate, although that’s as much a curse for the audience, given the level of the writing, as it is a boon for them.
The movie’s saving grace is the visceral response that sharks produce, even more than four decades after “Jaws” first had audiences screaming. It’s no accident that Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” is an annual event.
For all the wrinkles and riffs in between, that sense of helplessness remains a powerful, tension-filled hook, even if Roberts has to jerk the audience around more than a bit to keep them dangling. As for the groan-inducing lines, for some those chuckles will simply provide a welcome breather.
All told, “47 Meters Down” delivers enough rudimentary bait to justify this sort of low-budget exercise. If nothing else, it’s also a reminder that in the realm of thrillers, the boring stick-in-the-mud personality is usually the one with the right idea.
“47 Meters Down” premieres June 16 in the U.S. It’s rated PG-13.
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