Not having seen “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is not a hindrance to understanding the sequel — mistakenly titled “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” instead of “48 Meters Down” — because the films have nothing to do with each other apart from sharing a director (Johannes Roberts), a writer (Ernest Riera), and the general theme of nubile young women being menaced by sharks. That the new film is very average is a slight hindrance, but not a major one.
This time, sullen teenager Mia (Sophie Nelisse) and her popular stepsister, Sasha (Corinne Foxx, daughter of Jamie), living in Mexico while Mia’s researcher father (John Corbett) explores underwater Mayan caves, get dragged along with two other girls from the international school (Brianne Tju and Sistine Stallone, daughter of Sylvester) for an off-the-books, unsupervised exploration of those very caves. The consequences of that foolish decision are compounded by further stupidity among the sunken ruins, leading to a situation where the four girls are trapped underwater, their air tanks rapidly depleting, hunted by great white sharks that have evolved to be sightless down here in the dark.
Having sharks that can’t see does change the dynamic a little, resulting in moments where the girls just have to remain still and silent while the sharks pass by obliviously. The actual shark attacks are always good for a jolt, too, but the rest of the movie is absolutely nothing special, and it has a great ending that it ruins by continuing after it should have stopped. The girls have small flashlights and can talk to one another underwater via radios built in to their face masks, but we can’t always tell their voices apart, and the masks, the water, and the darkness often make it hard to identify them visually. Not that it matters much who’s who anyway, of course. They all taste the same to the sharks.
C+ (1 hr., 29 min.; )