Under Paris // Sharkpocalypse

Have you watched Netflix’s newest sharksploitation film, Under Paris? After watching the trailer, I ran to my television and settled in. Yes! There’s a shark loose in Paris. Oh lord, please let this be a movie to add to my Shark Week watchlist. I love a good, silly, shark movie. Deep Blue Sea has been in heavy rotation in my house for years. So, maybe I’m setting my hopes up too high? Sorry, I’m not being sarcastic. Sharknado, The Meg, Jaws 3-D, Narco Shark, Shark Side of the Moon, Santa Jaws and on and on, I love them all! I hope that baby leaps right out of the River Seine and snatches someone off the back of their moped. A girl can dream.

Shark bait

First of all, let’s get the serious stuff out of the way. I have obviously watched Under Paris twice and I am currently watching it while I type this. The audacity of director Xavier Gens not adding even one shark taking down a helicopter. How rude. In fact, this movie isn’t very funny at all. It is, however, exciting and a helluva thriller.

Marine biologist Sophia Assalas (Bérénice Bejo) learns from an environmentalist that a huge shark has made its way into the River Seine. Sophia is already familiar with Lilith, that’s the shark’s name, keep up. They met in the Great Pacific garbage patch, where her dive team was tracking and taking blood samples from a group of short-fin mako sharks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go as expected and three years later, Sophia is working at an aquarium. Then, she’s approached by a group of environmentalists led by Mika and her girlfriend, Ben, who have discovered Lilith has made her way to the Seine. Soon, the river police join in the hunt after a man’s remains are found after seemingly being attacked by a shark. 

P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

Paris is set to host the World Triathlon Championships for the first time and swimmers will soon be taking to the river in mass. The river police have been stepping up their patrolling and unexploded ordnance is discovered on the river bottom while cleaning. Moreover, Lilith is easily hidden in the murky water and deepest recesses of the Seine and the catacombs beneath the city. 

Thanks to Sophia’s tracking beacon, this huge mama shark is being followed by a group of environmentalists. Lilith has simply lost her way and now she’s a big problem. Together, Sophia and the river police hope to lead the shark back to the ocean without any casualties. Their plan seems simple enough, what could go wrong?

Just keep swimming

What we have here, isn’t your standard, man-eating shark movie. Lilith is something new entirely. She was first spotted hunting with a shiver of mako sharks. The science is sciencing in this movie. Overfishing and climate change has led to this shark’s strange behavior. Searching for ideal nesting waters has forced her out of her natural habitat. Throw some more sharks in the mix. And that’s how these innocent Parisians wind up on the dinner menu.

This cast is tops and the characters are great. In addition to Bejo, Léa Léviant, Nassim Lyes, Anne Marivin, Ibrahama Ba, Nagisa Morimoto are fantastic in their roles. Choosing the river and the catacombs for this shark to lurk was a brilliant choice. There’s a literal shark-hugger playing the perfect wild card, ruining plans along the way. Adding that the mayor refuses to heed the warnings of the experts sets the perfect environment for a spectacular conclusion. There will be carnage, chaotic shark attacks, a bloodbath in the catacombs, swimmers racing for their lives, and explosions! 

La fin

Under Paris has been streaming for over a week and I think most can agree that it’s wildly entertaining. It’s a perfect summer movie for the action crowd. Releasing this ahead of the summer Olympics in Paris was hilarious. I especially had fun reading all the puns and fun titles people have given the film.

Ultimately, I had to rate Under Paris 4 out of 5 stars because at no time did a shark leap out of the water to snatch a helicopter out of the sky. Moreover, I am lamenting the absence of a single person being swallowed whole and then chainsawing their way out of the belly of said shark. I’m kidding, that’s a joke. Or am I? I am, however, recommending Under Paris (Sous la Seine) to anyone and everyone. You should be watching it now on Netflix, or watch it again!