Warbling popstrel Mandy Moore sinks to new depths in 47 Metres Down, just about the least scary title since Johannes Roberts’ last film, The Other Side of the Door. 47 is simply not a scary number. 45 is a scary number (thanks Donald Trump). But the only reason you might be scared of the number 47 is if someone has told you that’s the age you’re going to die, and you’re gullible to the point of idiocy. In which case you might enjoy 47 Metres Down.
While holidaying in Mexico (it’s always Mexico), a pair of goldfish-brained sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) decide to go cage diving, so that Moore can win back her ex-boyfriend. A personality transplant might be more effective. Despite being in her 30s, she speaks like a vacuous teenager, including lines like: “Does my butt look cute in this?” No wonder he left.
Quite how shark diving would save her relationship is never really explained. Neither is the pair’s decision to pretend to know how to scuba dive and entrust a dodgy cage diving crew with their lives. Admittedly my friends and I once did something similar with some sub-regulation go-karts in Kavos, but climbing into a rusty cage in shark-infested waters without even knowing how to scuba dive? Nice plan, Mandy Mooron.
Before you can say “fishy unrealness”, the sisters find themselves trapped in the cage at the bottom of the sea, surrounded by CGI sharks. Moore then proceeds to accidentally do a number of stupid things, ranging from accidentally shooting herself with a harpoon to accidentally dropping a camera, which is quickly gobbled up by a shark. If sharks like the taste of humans and cameras so much, why couldn’t they have eaten Johannes Roberts and all of his?
The open secret of shark movies is that they’re funny rather than scary. That’s why the Syfy channel is full of films called Dinoshark and 3-Headed Shark Attack. Here, the sharks only have one head each, although the characters may as well have zero. It’s not entirely without tension, while the underwater photography is technically accomplished. It might even have been enjoyable had there been some decent characters we actually care about, instead of Moore’s grimacing dumpee, and her catchphrase: “I’m so scared!” That makes one of us.
47 Metres Down isn’t total carp. Well, it is, but not compared to most shark attack movies. It’s 47 metres better than The Shallows, for instance, though that’s mostly because at no point does a shark go on fire underwater. But please. No Moore.