UNDER PARIS Review: Save the Shark! (Before She Eats Anyone Else.) (Oops, Too Late.)

Xavier Gens directs Berenice Bejo and Nassim Lyes in a riotously unglued, 'police vs. shark(s)' action-thriller. Now streaming on Netflix.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
UNDER PARIS Review: Save the Shark! (Before She Eats Anyone Else.) (Oops, Too Late.)

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the Olympics.

Under Paris (orig. Sous la Seine)
Now streaming worldwide on Netflix.

Some call it a triathlon; the shark calls it lunch!

Named Lillith when first tagged in the ocean sea, the mako shark wreaks horrible violence upon a crew of conservators, leaving only a single survivor.

Three years later, survivor Sophia (Berenice Bejo) is still haunted by the disaster, in which her husband and several close friends lost their lives to an attack by Lillith. Sophia is shocked when she is contacted by young activist Mika (Lea Levient), who insists that, somehow, Lillith has traveled hundreds of miles through the oceans and now, somehow, finds herself in the river Seine, as proven by the distinctive beacon that Sophia knows was attached to the shark.

It's a ridiculous premise, of course, and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. Everyone -- Sophia, the river police, and their overseers -- merrily mocks the idea that a shark could possibly have traveled to Paris like an illegal migrant. Until a familiar fin is seen poking up out of the murky waters of the Seine, and suddenly, doubt gives way to desperation.

River police officer Adil (Nassim Lyes), a former military man, leads the mocking crew until he becomes a Believer. Meanwhile, Mika, who believes that sharks have equal rights, just like humans, and deserve every chance to live, convinces her girlfriend Ben (Narisa Morimoto) to disable the beacon, in the hope that they can lure the shark away from the city and into the sea.

All shark movies are indebted to Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975), and Under Paris pays homage in its opening sequence, and in certain other developments, such as when the pigheaded mayor of Paris (the terrific Anna Marivin) insists that the upcoming triathlon go forward as planned. Dozens of swimmers will plunge into the Seine as part of a competition in front of the international press, attended by large crowds, all leading up to the Olympics, which discerning viewers know will soon be better known as 'ringing the dinner bell.'

Earlier this year, Xavier Gens flexed his muscles with the dynamic action thriller Mayhem!, in which Nassim Lyes starred as a "touch, tenacious and taciturn gentleman who only turns to violence when he's provoked." Working again with Lyes and that film's action designer, and second unit director Jude Poyer, the team works up a terrific series of action sequences which feel like hand to hand combat between the police and the shark. Berenice Bejo is very persuasive, and Nassim Lyes is a genuine star.

The action is fierce and very, very brutal and bloody. Let's face it: humans don't really match up well against sharks, especially when the shark gets angry or feels under attack. Personally, I'd cancel any plans you might have this summer to visit any place with rivers, oceans or, really, any running water.

Conclusion: Sharks 1, People 0.

Under Paris

  • Xavier Gens
  • Xavier Gens
  • Bérénice Bejo
  • Nassim Lyes
  • Léa Léviant
Screen Anarchy logo
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here to report it, or see our DMCA policy.
Berenice BejoNassim LyesNetflixXavier GensBérénice BejoLéa LéviantActionDramaHorror

More about Mayhem!

More about Now Streaming

Around the Internet