*. Sharks seem like simple creatures to me. They’re pretty much just the killing machines we’ve been used to seeing in movies since Jaws. Which means shark movies are usually pretty simple too. So you shouldn’t be too surprised that 47 Meters Down is so similar to The Shallows. Except instead of one girl being trapped on a rock, with a shark between her and safety, here there are two girls — Kate (Claire Holt) and Lisa (Mandy Moore) — trapped in a cage 47 meters down, with several sharks between them and safety.
*. So, yes, it’s that simple. Sort of like Phone Booth only underwater and with less plot. The cable to bring them back up to the surface is broken, air is running out, and there’s a rescue fail that you can see failing about half an hour in advance. Alas, poor Javier. As with the men in the next movie, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, he’s just chum.
*. I actually went in to this one after making some calculations on a slip of paper. I’m that kind of guy. With a running time of 89 minutes I gave them 30 minutes to set up the basic situation. Then I figured it would be another 15 minutes before the first shark attack. In fact, the cage bottoms out at 47 meters at the 29 minute mark, and the shark arrives at 44 minutes. I was close.
*. Not that this kind of predictability is a bad thing. Until the minor twist at the end (which didn’t surprise me, as I’d seen The Descent and Gravity), this is a movie that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t go so much for jump scares (you’ll know when those are coming anyway) and instead works up the various challenges the girls face. Removing the crane from the top of the cage. Swimming out to a strangely unmoving flashlight. Recovering some air tanks that are sent down. It’s pretty basic stuff, but I thought it worked well enough. Better than all the silly things going on in the sequel anyway.
*. The script is lame and the acting no better, but that really is beside the point here. Seeing as almost all the action is underwater, nothing is said that’s all that important except what explains the action, and we rarely see Kate or Lisa’s faces. Even the sharks aren’t very interesting. Instead we just move along from one bit of business to the next. It’s not a flashy movie, but it does what it sets out to do reasonably well. Well enough for a sequel anyway.