Note - This review of Open Water 2: Adrift is for the Open Water/Open Water 2: Adrift Blu-ray release.
Based on a harrowing true story about a weekend cruise aboard a luxury yacht that goes horribly wrong for a group of high-school friends who forgot to lower the ladder before they jump into the ocean for a swim. The boat proves impossible to climb, leaving them stranded miles from shore. As the reality of the situation sinks in, the friends begin to turn on one another. Soon the exhaustion of staying afloat and the struggle to get back onboard begins to take a terrible toll. What started as a joyful reunion with old friends becomes a fight for their very lives!
For those who liked the original Open Water, the sequel is vastly underrated in my opinion. It has moments that are filmed sloppy with either chopped flashbacks in a scene or slow-motion that might annoy some, but mostly the film is very enjoyable and in many aspects I found this superior, story-wise and with it’s cast of characters, to the original except it wasn’t as scary as the first film.
The cast is much more well-rounded this time out and all give fine performances, with the stars even more engaging. I found Susan May Pratt’s (10 Things I Hate About You) performance here pretty great and her fellow cast members all gave decent performances in their own right, but hers stood out. Her every action came off as real and believable, especially her fear of the water. Eric Dane (Valentine’s Day) is likeable despite being a loathsome character, you can see his character is very flawed, but inside he means well.
The fear element is lacking here, which probably hurt this movie more than anything. That’s the downside of having a group of people in a horror film, which I think this wasn’t meant to be as much as the original film was. This film reminded me of Aliens in that the group is facing impossible odds and you wonder if they can make it or not. Certainly a group atmosphere hurts the feeling of isolation, though being stranded in the ocean, even with a group of people, will leave you feeling pretty hopeless and alone.
The story is again character based as the original film was, but here you get multiple characters who are all genuinely likeable and each has a unique personalities, with a few annoying characters at times. What hit home for me was having the baby onboard the yacht alone with all the adults in the water, it added an extra level of dread because as hopeless as the adults were, if you have any compassion you will really care about the baby’s fate, which is very well done. The character of Amy, played by Susan Pratt, is one of growth. She comes aboard the yacht timid and afraid of the water, but we see through flashbacks that her fear came from her father dying in the water when she was a little girl, therefore traumatizing her about swimming. As Dan carries her, leaping into the water with her in his arms, Amy freezes up. Her growth comes over time as her fears of the water subside as her concern for her baby, husband and friends leaves her no room to worry about herself and her own fears. Her motivation to get onboard the yacht, not for herself or even her friends, but for her baby gives her strength and makes her the best developed character of the movie, in fact of the two movies.
Those coming in expecting a clone of the first film will be disappointed. This sequel is very much it’s own movie. The two films do have the stranded-in-ocean story in common, but characters are completely different and the situation is different as the yacht is still there. I’d be spoiling the film if I mentioned what was missing this time out, but if you get caught up in the characters, just like the original film, this movie should appeal to you. You also have to use your imagination here. Also, given the first film’s horrific stranding in the ocean with sharks, you come to expect the same here, which builds anticipation, whether right or wrong. The movie uses that expectation to it’s advantage not long after the characters realized they are stuck in the ocean, despite being right next to the yacht. Any viewer of Shark Week on Discovery knows that it doesn’t matter if you’re right next to the boat, if you’re in the water with sharks, they have the advantage! Now given this built-in expectation, there is bound to be disappointment when the film takes another direction, departing from the original’s path and finding it’s own way. The thing about sequels is that they are bound by the original film’s fans. If you stray too far then the audience is upset, as I feel some were here. Yes, there are issues with Adrift that might be a turn-off to some, but I feel the biggest thing it did to upset some of the original fan base was that it decided to be it’s own animal and not be a clone of the original. Despite having a very similar theme of being stuck in the ocean, with seemingly no way out, Open Water 2: Adrift goes off in it’s own direction. That’s part of what I liked so much about this sequel besides the diverse cast of characters. My one complaint about the movie on Blu-ray is a lack of extras, where I was hoping to see more insight into the film and behind-the-scenes coverage (besides the Featurette).
Ultimately, Open Water 2: Adrift is an entertaining movie in it’s own right. It feels right being on the same disc as the original. It feels like an added gift and makes it a lot easier to watch the films back-to-back if you want to. I liked the film for being original in it’s own right and not going with two characters in the exact same situation of the first film. While it is a star below the original film on IMBD, I rank these two films at a 7 stars out of 10. Where the original film scared more, this film felt more satisfying to me. It might not appeal to all, even fans of the original, but when you consider that both films are on the same disc, this is a great deal and very much worth buying on Blu-ray!
Special Features -
- “Making Of Open Water 2” Featurette
What do you think of Open Water 2: Adrift (Blu-ray)
Share your opinions on our forum