(director/writer: Johannes Roberts; screenwriter: Ernest Riera; cinematographer: Mark Silk; editor: Martin Brinkler; music: Tomandandy; cast: Claire Holt (Kate, Mandy Moore (Lisa), Chris Johnson (Javier), Yani Gellman (Louis), Santiago Segura (Benjamin), Matthew Modine(Captain Taylor); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Mark Lane, James Harri; Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures; 2017)

“The dialogue is so flaccid it would even be trite if it were only a home movie.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A deep-sea shark rescue thriller that’s helmed in a workmanlike manner by British filmmaker Johannes Roberts (“F”/”Roadkill”). The slight story is co-written by him and Ernest Riera. It looks like a VOD release, as there’s not enough of a storyline for a feature film and the dialogue is so flaccid it would even be trite if it were only a home movie. It had clunky lines like the following throughout: “The shark almost got me!” “Oh, really?”. The American twenty-something aged sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and the younger Kate (Claire Holt) are on vacation in Mexico. The insecure Lisa tells the fun-loving free spirit Kate her boyfriend dumped her because she’s a bore, as Kate is the replacement travel partner for her boyfriend. At a bar the sisters are picked up by two local guys (Chris J. Johnson and Yani Gellman) who convince Kate to go down in a shark cage on the boat of Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine). Kate then convinces her terrified sister. Dressed in scuba gear, they are on the shoddy boat the next morning and winched down only 5 meters. However the winch cable snaps when they are pulled up and they fall to the sea floor-47 meters down. With only an hour of air, panic sets in as they grow fearful of the 20-foot killer sharks prowling around them and wonder if the guys on the boat are doing all they can to rescue them. For almost the entire film the girls are in peril. The photography is so dark I had trouble following their plight. As for Lisa’s need to redeem her self-worth through the adventure and prove to her ex that he’s wrong, is something made vital to the story but seems only a childish response to me. That leads the way for the twist in the final act, which was absurd. As for entertainment value, if you hunger for another Jaws flick, one on a smaller-scale but well-crafted, maybe the fine underwater photography of the marine life by DP Mark Silk, though too cloudy for my visual takes, will attract you.

REVIEWED ON 6/17/2017 GRADE: C      https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/