Dive Down Into 47 Meters of Survival Terror

47 meters

 

It’s the beginning of summer and many people are storming to the beaches for a variety of activities. And of course, Hollywood is happy to release a shark movie to scare everyone back into the theaters, or at least try to.  My build up is of course on the latest suspense/thriller shark movie 47 meters down.  This “original” titled film looks interesting, so naturally I’ve been assigned to analyze, comment, and share with the public.  Robbie K here back again this weekend with yet another review. Let’s “dive” on in shall we?

 

LIKES:

 

Cute leads:  Many modern films are all about using that eye candy to reel you in, and 47 meters is no exception.  The lovely ladies Mandy Moore and Claire Holt take much of the screen time and as such are very pleasant to watch.  For one thing, they are certainly cute. Whether in stunning dresses or wet suits, they look fabulous to keep your attention to the big screen.  Looks aside though, the more important aspect is their acting.  While certainly not an Oscar performance, the girls have the part down pat of playing fear, scared to the point of either death or survival.  The kept the acting in check (for the most part) and sold me into their characters. Of course, they could have used a little more character development to further invest me into the girls’ lives.

 

Suspenseful:  When it comes to suspense/thrillers we want…well suspense.  Good news folks, 47 meters has you covered with this aspect.  The setting itself will get your muscles tense, the dark, foreboding depths filled with terror at what lurks in the shadows.  Yet that is just the surface of the thrills, as the ever-present threat of drowning looms over our heroines. This constant threat continues to amplify the fear, especially when the CGI sharks swim in and things get further heated. The team balanced the fear with brief rests to ease the tension, many times faking us out with foreshadowing before taking a different path.  Such dynamic antics, alongside great sound and music editing, resulted in a fantastic culmination that many shark movies have lacked in the past.

 

Surprises: As I mentioned up above, the directing team kept things dynamic through this movie.  While there is certainly a linear goal for the girls (survival), the path they pursue takes many detours to get there. Just as you think one goal is accomplished, another curveball is thrown to waylay their mission and keep things interesting.  Yet it’s the end that really churns up the water and will leave you in a daze that many horror movies fail to achieve.  So well done on that guys.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Pointless extras: You see the credits, you realize there are few names listed for the acting cast.  In all honesty, they could have left almost all those names off. One major dislike is the limited involvement with the other cast.  Yes they do a lot of background activity to help increase their chances of survival, but you just don’t see much involvement in them. As such, you can’t help but wonder what was the point of them (primarily their boy interests) being in the movie.

 

Miracle moments: Many films have those moments that are sheer coincidence or miracle moments.  In 47 meters down, those moments are quite frequent, throwing plenty of inconsistencies that are a bit eye-rolling at times. Prolonged bouts of struggle often fade fast and magically get solved.  These stretches do add suspense, but many of them are incredibly unlikely to end that way and takes away from the magic they were building up. If you can suspend these observations you will have no problem, otherwise get ready to laugh at some of these cheesy moments.

 

Few shark moments:  After all the advertising of shark attacks, one would think this movie would be filled with close encounters of the toothy sea beasts.  Not the case my friends.  Certainly, there are moments of intense jaw chomping action, but much of the 90 minute screen time is left in the dark.  Like Jaws, the threat of the unknown paints the picture of fear, but I had hoped for a little more engagement with the sharks. Instead, much of the movie focuses on the decreasing air supply and the girls trying to handle their fear.  When the sharks do finally come into play, it is exciting, but also the most overdramatic component of the film, especially that ending sequence.

 

The VERDICT:

 

            The reviews say it is the first good shark movie since Jaws, and on some level I agree with that.  However, 47 meters down has a long way to go to master the epic tale of the shark attacks.  It certainly has suspense and uses some cool tricks to get you fired up at the fear the lies at the bottom of the ocean floor.  While the survival aspect is neat to see, I came for a shark movie and felt I only got about 1/3-1/2 of that with the limited shark involvement. And for many of those moments, the coincidental solution to their problems made for some eye-rolling, groan filled reactions.  Still it isn’t the worst shark movie to date and is miles above the “original” pictures from Sy-Fy!  Worth a trip to the theater?  Yeah I think it is on some level, but you can hold off for NetFlix as well. 

 

My scores are:

 

Horror/Thriller:  7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0 

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Deep Acting, Shallow Plot: Not Bad Though

The Shallows

 

The terror of the deep! An maw of endless fangs! There are endless descriptions for a way to describe a shark, the aquatic predator that we devote a whole week of cable programming to. Tonight we get the latest addition to the shark attack suspense genre entitled the Shallows. In today’s modern world, shark attack movies have been trailing down the ridiculous path. It makes one wonder if we will ever get a serious shark flick able to compete with Jaws? So what is the verdict of this film? As always read on to find out.

 

THE GOOD

  • Beautiful scenery
  • A good portrayal of living to your limits
  • Decent suspense

 

The most majestic thing about the shallows is the beautiful scenery of the film location. Beaches with brilliant white sands lace a crystal clear lagoon, where reefs of varying hues make for a stunning view under the calm sky. Those who appreciate exotic lands and kicking visual effects will be happy with the high definition wonders on the big screen. Most guy audience members though will enjoy a different type of scenery in the form of Blake Lively navigating the waters in a fancy bikini. I think the camera men had a fixation on her behind, because the camera had a fixation with posterior end of our blonde heroine.

With the visuals behind, the Shallows has painted a vivid picture of someone on the brink of death. Lively’s character is pushed to her limits, forced to use ingenuity (and her convenient medical training) to survive on the desolate rock she is trapped on. It’s intriguing to see all the things she dos to get back to shore, as well as see how her body changes as its exposed to the elements. Are some of the things over dramatic or convenient at times? Yes, but hey you sometimes have to stretch the truth when facing a gigantic, man-eating shark.

Nevertheless, much of this movie’s appealing factor is the suspense, as Lively’s character tests luck and skills while traversing the reef. While seeing the same thing gets a bit dull (not to mention predictable) at times, the editing and music will build up enough tension to have many on the edge of their seats. I admit once or twice they led me into uncertain waters, unable to deduce what the fate of leading lady was.

 

THE BAD

  • Repetitive and drawn out at times
  • Overdramatic moments
  • The ending

 

With survival movies, comes the expectation of slowness and the Shallows is no exception to the rule. Her battle against the shark is somewhat exciting, but that suspense starts to wane as she does the same thing over and over again. The movie has plenty of “close call” moments, often involve our bikini clad warrior falling into the water and flailing about before the CGI monster attempts to devour her. Between those moments, it’s a lot of her just sitting on a rock, staring into the waters as she dehydrates in the sun. If that sounds exciting, then your heart will be pumping with glee.

In addition to the repetitive scenes, The Shallows also dove into the overdramatic depths. Blake Lively does her role well, but the director had a thing for overdramatic flare. From slow motion diving under the waves to the super molasses like movements through the water, it’s all drawn out to fill more screen time. It was the drawn out editing that probably gave the movie a majority of its length and it added very little to the story (which you’ve gotten like 70% of the movie from the trailers. Oh well, you get your 90 minutes worth.

Perhaps the cheesiest part of this movie though…is the ending. Okay, shark movies only have a few alleys to traverse in terms of the finale and many of them are melodramatic and ridiculous. This one though, well it was a little too much stretch of the imagination to stomach. After all the realistic survival instincts, our director/screenplay writers decided to defy physics with the dramatic climax that felt more of a quick wrap up. My fellow audience members all agreed on this, and wondered why such a hasty ending was their solution. It lacked emotion. It lacked satisfaction! And…it defied physics to my understanding. Oh well can’t get them all right, but we can certainly do a little better than this.

 

The Verdict

 

When you go to see The Shallows, you are going to get exactly what you expect. It’s a simplistic shark survival film with a pretty woman to fill the silver screen. Lively does a great a job with the center role, and she sold to me that she was suffering. Yet it was not enough to save me from a little boredom brought on by the repetitive fluff editing put in. Chances are you’ve seen about 60-70% of the movie from the trailers and unfortunately the ending doesn’t pack the punch. Oh well at least it is only 90 minutes right? Is it worth a trip to the movie theater? Nope, but definitely catch it on shark week when it is sure to premier.

 

My scores are:

Drama/Horror/Thriller: 7.0

Movie Overall: 6.0