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‘47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ Review: A Sequel Unworthy of the Original

Saved from straight-to-DVD purgatory at the last minute and given a theatrical release, the 2017 sleeper hit “47 Meters Down” was an elegantly directed, well-acted, and surprisingly compelling thriller about two sisters stuck in a cage being terrorized by sharks. Its sequel, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged,” with its silly scenario, irritating characters, and garbled action, plays like a rebuke of the earlier film.

This time, it’s another set of sisters (played by Corinne Foxx and Sophie Nelisse) reluctantly joining two other girls from school (Brianne Tju and Sistine Stallone) for an impromptu cave dive in a secret cove in the Yucatán. They don state-of-the-art scuba gear and plunge in, only to get trapped in a long-buried city of the dead, where they come across a type of shark that has evolved in the darkness without eyesight but with other, highly attuned senses.

The director, Johannes Roberts, also helmed the earlier film, and while he created a palpable sense of claustrophobia in that effort — even in scenes set in the open sea — here he flounders in his attempts to build dread in tight spaces. The bickering girls are often stuck in underwater caves and corridors, but the action is unclear and the menace unconvincing. The tin-eared dialogue — of which there is a shocking amount, for a movie set largely underwater — doesn’t help either. It’s hard to care for characters when what they do and say rings so false. The result plays like the kind of sleazy exploitation movie that the first one so studiously avoided becoming.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Rated PG-13 for some grisly shark attacks and poor teenage decision-making. Running time: 1 hour 29 minutes.

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