Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017)


Directed by Gerald Rascionato


The found-footage formula is stretched to its limit with Open Water 3: Cage Dive, an Australian shark thriller in which we’re asked to give two shits about a romantic entanglement subplot involving two brothers and one of them’s soon-to-be future wife. To label it ‘Hollyoaks with sharks’ would make it sound too appealing a prospect, yet such is the non-appeal of the human beings in the movie…it’s hard to ignore a feeling of hoping the sharks are well fed.

The plot device that gets a boat capsized and our characters in the water has to do with a freak giant wave that nobody saw coming from miles away. Nobody. The movie then spends the majority of its time failing to stay afloat, as it struggles to register any suspense amid sub-par, soap opera style writing and incoherent dialogue. Directed by Gerald Rascionato, things begin without impetus, as we’re introduced to faintly outlined characters with little or no reason to care. To boot, the characters regularly do incredibly stupid things; thrashing around in shark-infested waters, setting fire to their own life boat…the list goes on.

On a more positive note, many of the visual effects are done with restraint, and there are concerted efforts to create suspense, but more often than not, these attempts are undermined by a severe lack of overall investment.

It perhaps seems remiss to call out a found-footage movie as ‘amateur’, as by nature, these films trade in the way they appear unprofessional, with little-known actors and low production values supposedly giving way to a sense of realism. The downfall of Open Water 3 comes by way of it being amateur at being amateur. While the threat of sharks is inherently scary, there’s nothing about the writing, directing or performances that is in any way thoughtful enough to promote the film beyond the basement of direct-to-streaming-services. Yet another crappy movie about sharks.

2/5

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About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
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6 Responses to Open Water 3: Cage Dive (2017) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. philler211 says:

    Jeez they made ANOTHER Open Water?

    • garethrhodes says:

      Yes, though it was originally called ‘Cage Dive’, so I wonder if the decision to put it in the Open Water family was a last minute idea to give a little brand recognition.

  2. philler211 says:

    Da fuq? That’s completely fucking stupid. I mean, when was the last time ANYONE gave a shit about the Open Water series? I say that sarcastically because Open Water was just a one-trick pony that didn’t need a followup, let alone TWO

  3. dreager1 says:

    I’ve never heard of this film before and based on your summary that seems like a good thing. I’m already wary when I see the term found footage since I feel like most of those end up being pretty bad and then that feeling only gets worse when it’s a Shark film. It sounds like it’d be a little hard to get through this one.

    • garethrhodes says:

      Yes, watching the movie is a real swim against the tide. While I agree with you on your comment about found footage films, I have had fun with many of them over the years – even the lower budget titles like Rec, Troll Hunter etc. Open Water 3 should be avoided. It doesn’t even work as light popcorn fun.

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