Under Paris

Under Paris Movie Review | best movie in 2024 | hollywood moive | moive review

Under Paris

Three years after an environmental researcher Sophia witnessed a mako shark tear apart her marriage, she is alarmed to discover it has made its way into Paris’ vast river system and relocated there. With activist Mika and river patrol sergeant Adil she unites their efforts in trying to retrieve this tiger-like predator before the city hosts an in-water triathlon competition.

Under Paris | What Happens?

Given the recent spate of bland shark movies, Under Paris by Xavier Gens is an enjoyable aquatic thriller. Mixing bureaucratic excess with Deep Blue Sea-esque pace, Under Paris puts marine biologist Sophia and river patrol officer Adil at its center – giving this action-packed film some measure of sincerity that elevates it above typical B-movie fare.

Under Paris explores what would happen if Paris had a shark problem, offering up a compelling mix of underwater catacombs (reminiscent of 47 Meters Down), political maneuvering and bloodshed that should keep any fan of shark movies satisfied. Gens delivers everything necessary for such films: violent aggressor, humanity versus nature message and stunning underwater cinematography; unfortunately though the premise could have been less absurd.

Under Paris

Under Paris | Sophia (Berenice Bejo)

Three years after her research team was attacked by a shark in Paris’ Seine River, marine biologist Sophia (Berenice Bejo) returns home and discovers that this lethal predator has established itself permanently there. Her arrival coincides with an upcoming triathlon event where part of its swimming portion will take place here.

Sophia finds herself caught between police forces that refuse to believe her, shark protection groups who can’t fathom how an otherwise peaceful creature like a shark could ever turn violent and Mother Nature herself. Lea Leviant does an exceptional job as eco activist Mika who displays both fierceness and kindness simultaneously.

Under Paris excels when its attention is focused on shark action and not on long, pointless debates among characters about what should happen next. Unfortunately, its tonal shifts between somber seriousness and summer horror fun detract too much from what makes the film truly good; although its climax does deliver some decent twists it would have been nice if more satisfaction could have been provided from this ending.

Under Paris | Mika (Lea Leviant)

Under Paris manages to make the most of its limited resources despite an underwhelming premise and some unlikely scenarios, thanks to committed performances from its cast members who ground it and lend it substance. There’s an overt environmental message running throughout its first act, yet never taken too seriously; characters like Mika’s cynical jabs at Mayor’s promises of cleaning up polluted waters are especially memorable and convincing.

Berenice Bejo is captivating as Sophia, an oceanic wildlife researcher who loses all her colleagues due to a tiger shark during the film’s opening sequence. Bejo’s performance is captivating and real; she makes the best out of an extremely challenging situation.

Lea Leviant shines as Mika, the young activist working at Sophia’s Save Our Sea Foundation. The actress masterfully balances Mika’s naivete with her passion for protecting sharks – not to mention capturing audiences attention when using her sonar device to lure Lilith into flooded catacombs using sonar technology – creating palpable and effective chemistry between herself and Lilith as leads.

Under Paris | Adil (Nassim Lyes)

As Paris prepares to host the inaugural World Triathlon Championships on the Seine, marine scientist Sophia (The Artist star Berenice Bejo) discovers that Lilith, a giant mako shark that had previously caused trouble, had made its way into its waters. After encounters with this creature before, Sophia knows that this threat could turn the race into an all-out fight between sharks and swimmers; so she teams up with eco-activist and river police sergeant Adil (Nassim Lyes) to send back Lilith back into its native saltwater environment and save the race before bloodshed starts!

Under Paris benefits greatly from its stellar lead performances of bejo and Lyes. Their characters share an ideal romantic chemistry, while also acting as anchors against any potential silliness surrounding them. Their performances prevent Under Paris from sinking into outdated B-movie cliches.

Under Paris is an engaging movie that should appeal to audiences looking for an innovative summer horror flick with an interesting premise, however its tonal shifts between somber seriousness and horror flick fun may prove too distracting to fully enjoy.

Under Paris

Under Paris | Final Thoughts

Under Paris is an exciting, dynamic addition to the fin flick genre that finally provides some much-needed spark. Dopey but not silly, outlandish yet not ridiculous and violent yet not gratuitous are hallmarks of great cinema. Though Hitman director Xavier Gens doesn’t quite match up to superior sea-borne thrillers (such as Godzilla or Deep Blue Sea), he makes up for it with plenty of real life panic and gory shark feeding frenzy sequences.

Although this film’s environmental message is fairly strong, Mika’s constant and uninspiring criticisms about Mayor Lallement’s refusal to listen are soon tiring; these complaints seem disconnected from Lilith’s ability to survive in polluted freshwater bodies.

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