Following an obnoxiously simplistic set-up with some of the most laughably wooden dialogue this year, 47... follows two sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) on a bonding vaykay to Mexico. While there they embark on an illegal cage-dive expedition, run off the books by some sketchy locals brothers, where, during the dive with 25-foot great white sharks, their safety cable malfunctions, leaving the sisters at the bottom of the ocean trapped in a cage.
Simple set-up. If only the characters were as strong as the scenario.
You’ll get nothing from the atom-thin characters, Claire Holt, particularly, getting the shortest end of the development stick. Moore, on the other hand, has a little more something to hold on to as the scaredy-cat sister learning to test her mettle in the most extreme of extreme situations.
Thankfully 47 METERS DOWN's script is so high-concept the scenario does most of the lifting, propping up some horrendously bad dialogue, loud montages backed by this summers biggest hits and cash-in appearances (*ahem* Matthew Modine).
This is Roberts' show, however, as both writer and director, he’s much more comfortable with his actors under the ocean than on top. Never falling prey to showing the monsters too often, and, when he does, keeping them very much on this side of plausible, his grip on the rhythm of tension is admirable, using the murky deep-sea waters to hide the predators like a pro.
47 METERS DOWN ends up being a satisfying 85-minute diversion. More fanciful than OPEN WATER but more grounded than THE SHALLOWS it’s popcorn entertainment, pure and simple, and none the worse for it.