It’s April 2020, yet it feels like the end of the world half the time. In the Covid 19 edition of the Blog Collab, all we’ve got are films bonkers enough to distract us from our current reality. This week, we’re going back to our roots. That’s right–for our purposes, this week is Shark Week.
47 Meters Down: Uncaged
Feuding siblings end up with much more family bonding than anticipated when a cave diving adventure yields dangerous encounters with sharks.
Mia is having a rough time adjusting to her new high school, where she has been immediately branded a loser. Meanwhile, her sister Sasha is already set with a girl gang, avoiding publicly recognizing her social misfit sibling at all costs.
Determined to facilitate sisterly bonding opportunities, father Grant books a weekend shark tour on a glass-bottomed boat. Busy with an exciting new find as an archaeologist/excavator/diver/I don’t really know what this man’s job is, Grant will have to skip the tour in favor of exploring a series of underwater tunnels that are part of an ancient city. He doesn’t seem too broken up about it, to be honest. Though he’s ditching all of the family togetherness, Grant does give Mia an ancient shark’s tooth he’s uncovered, which may come in handy later (it definitely does).
Despite cancelling her plans with her posse, Sasha’s friends Alexa and Nicole show up to save her from what can only be a torturous tourist trap. Feeling at least some amount of loyalty to her sister, Sasha invites Mia to tag along for their adventure at a secret swimming spot (naturally).
Finding a small stockpile of scuba gear from their father’s dive, the girls plan to explore part of the underwater city, including a temple supposedly marking the entrance to Xibalba, the Mayan city of the dead. Always a stellar plan, ladies.
Admittedly, the underwater temple looks pretty flipping cool. However, it doesn’t take long for trouble to arise when Nicole is startled by a Mexican cave fish, which is blind and eerily colorless. After knocking down a significant part of the temple, the girls draw the attention of Grant’s assistant, Ben. He seems eager to help them out with the guide line he’s been using to retrace his steps (strokes?)…but, sadly, it’s not long before Ben becomes shark bait. And, like our Mexican cave fish friend, this is a special species that has evolved sightless–all the better to sense prey based on sound and movement.
With oxygen running low and determined sharks on their trail, the girls regroup to find Grant’s crew working nearby. Will this plan save them or is a more harrowing turn of events in the cards? Prepare to be astonished.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads
You know, I didn’t hate this. Were the characters (more than) a bit underdeveloped? Was the weird high school bullying theme entirely unnecessary? Did I laugh out loud at some of the shark attack deaths? Clearly, yes.
However, I found this film genuinely suspenseful at times and creative in its approach to some of the shark scenarios. Since our protagonists were in the unusual situation of diving underwater for most of the shark attacks, the additional dangers of low oxygen, strong currents, and surfacing near steep cliffs with no way to climb up added interesting complications to the story. I also legitimately felt my stomach drop when two of our protagonists finally surface near a boat only to realize its crew are chumming the waters. Mia has some rather badass scenes as well that, while highly unrealistic, are pretty damn entertaining.
And, honestly, I can’t help but respect a diving crew that chooses the Carpenters as the soundtrack for their excavation.