Capsule reviews for June 16

47 Meters Down

Such depth is lacking in this shallow thriller about two sibling damsels in distress who encounter trouble on a Mexican vacation. Specifically, adventurous Kate (Claire Holt) talks her timid sister, Lisa (Mandy Moore), into a scuba adventure in which they descend in a cage to see Great White sharks up close. The cable breaks, the oxygen is depleting, and the sharks are circling — you know where this is going. Despite some stylish touches from director Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door), the formulaic film requires an outrageous suspension of disbelief, ultimately failing to generate consistent suspense or sufficient sympathy for its dimwitted divers. (Rated PG-13, 89 minutes).

 

Kill Switch

Some intriguing concepts never come together in this incoherent science-fiction thriller trying to drum up paranoia about an impending energy crisis. It takes place in a European metropolis in the near future, and tracks the efforts of an American pilot (Dan Stevens) to deal with the chaotic aftermath of an apocalyptic accident involving his employer, a high-tech energy firm that tries to create clean energy from intergalactic matter. Through visual trickery (including excessive first-person point of view) and a jumbled chronology, the muddled film is structured as a puzzle about corporate greed, socioeconomic class and technological overreach that most moviegoers won’t care enough to solve. (Rated R, 91 minutes).

 

Once Upon a Time in Venice

Not funny enough as a comedy and not exciting enough as a thriller, this cut-rate Tarantino knockoff instead features chase scenes with Bruce Willis cross-dressing and skateboarding naked. It’s not set in Italy, but instead along the beaches of California, where fledgling private investigator Steve (Willis) becomes involved with drug dealers, loan sharks, and a host of other lowlifes while trying to recover his stolen dog. The resulting hijinks are amusing only in small doses, and are compromised by a convoluted plot and grating narration by Steve’s wannabe sidekick (Thomas Middleditch). The film squanders a supporting cast that includes John Goodman, Jason Momoa and Adam Goldberg. (Not rated, 94 minutes).