The Reel Review

D+

Three years after a marine biologist’s crew was killed in a vicious shark attack, she must team up with a tenacious police captain when that same giant shark inexplicably appears in the murky freshwaters of the Seine River near Paris just days before a huge triathlon involving thousands of swimmers. Oscar-nominee and César winner Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Nassim Lyes star in this Netflix creature feature.

Berenice Bejo in Under Paris

Preposterous premise aside, Under Paris at least starts off as a pretty decent shark movie in its first hour, building suspense as our intrepid marine biologist discovers her killer shark is in the Seine. After some crisp visuals of Paris and the underground catacombs, the first big bloodbath occurs at the one-hour mark, with the shark having a bunch of delusional young conservationists for dinner. The shark CGI ranges from the surprisingly good to just awful.

from Under Paris

But then Under Paris gets really bonkers, on par with the terrible Meg films, while aping the plot of the shark classic Jaws (the mayor strangely insists the triathlon must go on, even with the shark on the loose) and including a kitchen sink of twists – mutated fast-growing baby sharks, exploding WWII-era bombs on the bottom of the Seine and even a tsunami. Fans of brainless shark carnage will get a kick out of the big feeding frenzy of a finale, but it doesn’t change the fact that Under Paris is still one really stupid, bad movie.

REEL FACTS

• Bérénice Bejo is married to Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist). They co-starred together in his 2022 horror/comedy Final Cut.

• Under Paris co-writer/director Xavier Jens (Mayhem!, Cold Skin, The Divide) is married to Russian-born actress Mounia Meddour.

• Actor Nassim Lyes has an extensive background in MMA fighting, having won a national kick-boxing championship in the welterweight division. He also starred in Xavier Jens’ 2023 action thriller Farang.

 

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