47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

*. A quick confession: I actually saw 47 Meters Down: Uncaged before seeing 47 Meters Down. Not only that, at the time I didn’t know this was a sequel (if that’s the right word, and it probably isn’t). I hadn’t even heard of 47 Meters Down, and was surprised when the “Uncaged” came up on screen. Did that mean there’d been an earlier movie? Indeed there had been, but it had somehow flown under my radar. Which is a bit surprising, since it had been generally well received.
*. I’ve said I’m not sure “sequel” is the right word. This movie really only shares its title, and the presence of some sharks, with the previous film. But the sharks are different beasts and the title doesn’t make much sense. Are they really 47 meters down? I find that hard to believe. I doubt they’re half that depth most of the time. As far as the “Uncaged” part goes, there’s no mention made at any point of a shark cage so I don’t know why they brought it up, except to differentiate it from the first movie in some irrelevant way.
*. Basically what we have here is The Descent with sharks. A foursome of teenage girls (including star offspring Sistine Stallone and Corinne Foxx) go cave diving in the Yucatan. This is a stupid thing to do because cave diving is very dangerous, even without the presence of sharks. And in this cave, which is actually a sunken Mayan city, there are a pair of giant, blind, albino sharks.
*. A quick digression. The sharks, like all movie-monster sharks, are at least twice as big as the biggest Great White ever recorded. They’re like small whales (though nowhere near as big as the monsters on the poster, which is a bit of exaggeration that goes back to Jaws).
*. A really big shark is fine. But it does make you wonder how they managed to evolve to such a giant size when there’s clearly not much for them to eat in these caves. At least in The Meg they could posit an entire submerged ecoystem that presumably kept that beast fed. Here it’s left a head-scratcher. What’s even more surprising, these CGI sharks aren’t just big but fat. What gives?
*. Anyway, there’s a cave-in caused by the dumb girl with the great ass (that would be Stallone). She also wins the Darwin Award for a boneheaded move at the end that didn’t make much sense (that cable couldn’t support the weight of two skinny teenage girls?). Throughout the movie the sharks just swim around and then blast into the frame like the bus in Final Destination to take out superfluous characters.
*. OK, the plot. A pair of step-siblings (Foxx and Sophie Nélisse) are encouraged by their parents to look out for each other. Their struggles in the caves will bring them together. You will see that coming. Just like the shark’s tooth coming back into play, and the drinking air from trapped air pockets (which was also used a lot in Turistas). There is really nothing very surprising that happens. Even the shark/bus attacks, which I think are meant to make us jump, seemed predictable to me.
*. If it isn’t scary it is at least stressful. As with most underwater films it’s claustrophobic, though not as dark as it might have been. A darker cave, with danger lurking just outside the range of the divers’ flashlights would have been scarier and more realistic, but would have probably angered audiences to no end. There’s one shot, and it is just a single shot, of the girls isolated in the cave and surrounded by blackness that I thought was the nicest in the whole film, but you can also see why they could never film an entire underwater movie like this. So instead we get a well-lit cave and lots of cuts.
*. About the most I can say for this one is that it made me want to look for 47 Meters Down, which turned out to be a better movie. The Descent is also a better movie. Much better. The Shallows is a better movie too. Come to think of it, there’s really not much point bothering with this. The sharks aren’t very good and the humans are no better.

39 thoughts on “47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

      1. Alex Good Post author

        Say, slightly off topic, but am I going to have to start giving trigger warnings for some of the content on this blog, just for you?

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/07/even-word-trigger-triggering-university-urges-lecturers-use/

        I used to think of Scots as being a hardy race, but I guess the ones around Glasgow, at least the ones who went to uni there, are a bit snowflakey. You know. Soft. And you being an alum and all I thought I’d check with you.

      2. Alex Good Post author

        Apparently even saying the words “trigger warning” may be triggering. At least at Glasgow U. Can you confirm or deny?

      3. Alex Good Post author

        Hmm. I don’t think you’re doing a really good job of representing GU here. I can’t believe all their grads are so mean.

      4. Alex Good Post author

        Silly mittens! You know I’d just have to say something that takes you out of your safe space and you’d be triggered into a total mental and physical collapse. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m very sensitive to people with special needs.

      5. tensecondsfromnow

        Sigh. How about I smash your skull like a table-tennis ball? The only special needs you’ll have is medical supervision. You’ll be going home in an ambulence if you keep this up….

      6. tensecondsfromnow

        Oh, the insults are coming out now, eh? Maybe it’s attempting to read your pitiful blog that’s rotted my ability to spell. Hahah, baldy, walked right into that one, didn’t you? Anyway, I’ll knock your lights out. Beat wishes hahahahhahahaha

      7. tensecondsfromnow

        Academy award winning writer, no crushed hopes at this end. What have you achieved other than screenshotting Julianne Moore on the toilet? Nothing. Face it, Bunty, you’re only claim to fame is being a dumping ground for witty insults from my good self.

      8. Alex Good Post author

        “Academy.” Would that be the Glasgow Snowflake Academy? Do your fantasy awards melt when they come into contact with the cold, hard light of reality?

      9. tensecondsfromnow

        Alex the Green-eyed Monster of Jealousy. That was the title. Hahahaha. You’ve never won a raffle, Bunty; is it cold in my shadow? No writing awards for you? Shame. Must be a bitter pill for you to swallow. Best Baldy? Nope. Do they have awards for screenshot-ting actresses on toilets? Watching films about sharks or leprechauns? Nope, didn’t think so. Face it, your best efforts wouldn’t cut any mustard with a professional writer like me. You are a sock puppet, and that’s you level. Now, back in your box and let the grown-ups talk.

      10. Alex Good Post author

        Ah, you had me going for a second there. Actually plugged your name into the BAFTA awards database. Nothing there. Sure the award wasn’t for Biggest Fantasist?

      11. tensecondsfromnow

        I’m fed up with people claiming that I only got the award because I scripted the ceremony that year. There was no connection between these things at all. Fake news!

        What have you ever won, second prize in a Hills Have Eyes lookalike competition?

      12. tensecondsfromnow

        I’ve shown amazing patience by reading the ignorant displays on your blog. A stoic response to read such a jumble; do you just throw scrabble letters in the air, then key them into the computer in the order they fall? Or do you actually try and arrange them first? It’s hard to tell…I suppose as a writer who has won no recognised Einstein award writing competitions, you should be pitied rather than laughed at, but laughter would be my first response. You must have won something, a space hopper race? Pass the parcel?

      13. Alex Good Post author

        I’d post a picture of my trophy cabinet but I’m too modest. Plus I know it would make your head explode. So mucx jealousy.

  1. Bookstooge

    Dark movies piss me off to no end. The Godzilla reboot a couple of years ago made me so mad that I just stopped with the mega-monster movies. If the bleeping directors don’t want me to watch their movie because it’s all in the dark, then I bloody well WON’T watch their bleeping movie.

    I definitely fit into your category of angry citizens….

    Reply
    1. Alex Good

      Normally I’d agree. But darkness can be effective and I think if it were used more here it would have worked. But if the audience is paying for a giant shark they’ve gotta see a giant shark.

      Reply
      1. Bookstooge

        A scene or two of darkness, where things being hidden is done on purpose, I can understand even if I don’t like it. But if that is going to be done, don’t make what is taking place important to the movie.

    1. Alex Good

      I wanted to get to that because I’ve heard good things about it but I couldn’t track down a copy. I don’t use streaming services so I’m sort of stuck with what’s on YouTube or what my library has on DVD, plus what I have in my own library. I will keep looking, as it must be better than most of the sharky stuff I’ve covered here.

      Reply
    1. Alex Good

      Actually, it did not. It doesn’t sound like that would be sustainable in the long term, and these particular sharks have been down there a long time to have evolved as they have.

      Reply
      1. Over-The-Shoulder

        My theory? They reproduce at ridiculously high rates. The older sharks are then killed by the younger adults and fed to the youngest sharks. These young sharks fatten up, and there’s many of them due to the shark’s high reproduction. The young adult sharks age, and the youngest sharks become adults. The originally young adults, who are now old, are killed, and fed to the new children. It’s genius.

      2. Alex Good Post author

        Hm. This sounds a bit like a biological perpetual motion machine. It seems to go against some kind of reproductive law of thermodynamics. I think they’re harvesting sea cucumbers.

      3. Alex Good Post author

        Well, they can’t just wait for some silly divers to offer themselves up as menu items with any regularity. But they can take advantage of that situation when it arises.

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