Under Paris (2024) Review: A Rollercoaster Ride or Just Another Shark Film?


Under Paris is one of those movies that will keep you sufficiently entertained, earning it a solid 5 out of 10 stars in my book. Netflix Under Paris features Berenice Bejo, an actress I adore, who seemingly took this role to pay a mortgage or something. The movie is wild, with sharks in the Seine, a shark nest in the catacombs, the mandatory ignorant mayor, and a dumb plan involving explosives.

There’s also a lot of dead people, a triathlon-turned-breakfast-buffet, World War II shells, and a tsunami—yes, a tsunami in Paris. Whoever wrote this and had the confidence to send the script in, and then somehow secured funding, kudos to them. I’m in awe. No shred of logic or reason will obfuscate your viewing experience.

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Will this movie win any awards? No. It’s full of your standard shark movie cliches and the middle drags a little. But I have to admit, I was surprised in the last quarter of the film, and even though I was cheering for the shark (there were just too many stupid people waiting to be eaten), I did end up enjoying the film. I love shark movies, though, so if you aren’t generally into shark movies, this probably won’t float your boat.

The movie starts with a lot of action and ends with a lot of action, with lots of blood and a heavy dose of an environmental message, which is very topical. Would I watch it again? Yeah, I would. And I’d watch a sequel if that happens too.


The shark that the expedition was tracking in Hawaii somehow ends up in the river Seine, right where the surviving scientist lives. There’s an “explanation” given, and if you can suspend your disbelief for a moment, this can be enjoyed as a slightly silly yet still acceptable one-time watch. If Bait can have sharks roaming a flooded grocery store, then France can certainly have freshwater sharks.

The story of Under Paris is as ridiculous as it sounds, but it’s fun enough to keep you watching. The length could easily have been 20-25 minutes shorter, though. The acting is mediocre to good, with Berenice Bejo giving a decent performance despite the absurd script. The CGI is not entirely realistic and partly gives off 2000’s video game vibes (for instance, when the shark pulls Sophia far down into the deep sea in the first few minutes of the film). For the most part, however, it’s good enough.


The movie is more shocking for its depiction of the massive amounts of trash humans pump into the ocean than for its killer sharks under Paris. This perspective shift didn’t expect an aquatic horror movie to make me sad, but here we are.

The film Under Paris is filled with typical clichés, including a strong female protagonist having trauma that she overcomes by the end of the movie. They took inspiration from *Deep Blue Sea* with the abnormal evolution of the super-shark Lilith. The name Lilith is fitting, as it references Biblical Adam’s first wife, who was cursed by God to become a ravenous monster and child eater because she refused to be subjugated by Adam.

Good shark movies live off two things: the suspense (where is it?! When will it attack? How? From where?!) and great action (aarrghhh! Where’s my leg! And so on). The suspense was there in the beginning, then is drawn out ad nauseam until there’s nothing left of it. Activists debate endlessly on how to save the shark and get in the police’s way.

People dive under the Seine with no shark in sight, people walk through tunnels, and then finally around the one-hour mark: a fin! It is she! Great Lilith. And she brought her baby. Here’s where Lilith earned her Biblical name because she suddenly and without warning… eats it.

Plus, the annoying blue-haired activist—thankfully—meets her end. It takes another long 20 minutes before another shark appears, or rather, a whole swarm of Lilith’s offspring, just as the triathlon begins. Chaos ensues with people dying, a bomb going off, and dramatic violins playing as the police and military fire machine guns into the water. Somehow, half of Paris gets flooded, yet this still remains one of the most boring shark films I’ve ever watched.

The sharks weren’t just mindless killers tearing apart anyone they encountered; they aimed to flood Paris to create a habitat for themselves.

Um, why? The Seine ends in the English channel. Lilith literally made it there and could have left anytime if this was a space issue. Also, this implies more than a human-like intelligence but almost magical powers because how on earth would the shark know people have bombs and how they’d react to an aquatic threat of this magnitude? Come on. There’s fiction and then there’s nonsense. It had good elements, but the fun(ny) parts were overshadowed by how seriously the movie took itself.

So in the end, this was another underwhelming shark film. Stick to the classics: The Shallows, the first two 47 Meters Down movies, Deep Blue Sea, Bait, Jaws, The Reef, and if you feel goofy, The Meg.

As mentioned above, I found Under Paris to be quite entertaining. This film is full of typical shark film clichés; stupid characters, an ignorant person in power, and strange-looking CGI. It had some intriguing elements that stacked this film above the rest of shark films, like The Shallows or The Meg.

This film Under Paris feels a little bit more than a simple rehashing of a survival story. The two main characters have to battle a large, complex shark against the backdrop of Paris. No spoilers, but I would definitely recommend that you watch the entire film until the end for the ultimate conclusion. The characters here are forgettable and, once again, most of them fall easily into the stereotypical roles that people in shark films have to in order for the body count to be higher.

Overall, Under Paris was much better than I anticipated it to be, with the middle dragging out until the tension finally starts to ramp up. A movie is not good when you are rooting for the villain. In this case, the shark was my superhero.

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First of all, with 50 years of advanced technology, robotics, CGI, and advancement in film… how can today’s sharks look less realistic than Jaws? It is insane how fake today’s sharks look.

The CGI at some points was pretty okay in Under Paris but at various times it failed to deliver (especially when the shark jumps out of the water). But hey… at least it’s not another Sharknado type of movie (although that one doesn’t take itself too seriously and that might be even better).

Definitely worth a watch if you keep your mind open to what this film Under paris is and what Under paris represents. Unlike others, I definitely wasn’t behind the shark here, you do definitely get behind the few sensible cast roles who are trying to resolve what seems like a likely impossible scenario with Sharks swimming around Paris.

However, putting the plot to one side, and in the spirits of the likes of Snakes On A Plane, this will keep you entertained for an hour without feeling the need to get distracted. There is enough drama and action to keep you close to nearing the edge of the sofa and the special effects (in my opinion) are pretty good.

The main focus is actually on the Olympic Games in Paris, highlighted by the lack of preparation from Paris City Hall. Anne Marivin does an excellent job portraying a completely incompetent, dishonest, ruthless, and politically driven mayor of Paris, a character that everyone will easily recognize. The only differences are that she’s pretty and she can speak French. Shame she doesn’t get gulped by the shark.

An okay movie, worth watching just to take a break from your usual Netflix TV series.

Plot: Three years after losing her research team and husband to an attack by an abnormally large Mako shark named “Lillith” the team had been tracking at the Pacific Garbage Patch, marine biologist Sophia Asslas (Berenice Bejo) is approached by Mika (Lea Leviant) of the environmental group S. O. S. Or Save our Seas saying the group have located Lillith’s tracker in the Seine with incidents such as a driver crashing into the Seine and the body not being recovered.

Initially skeptical, Sophia’s fears are soon confirmed as circumstances soon see her team with Adil (Nassim Lyes) of the French police’s River Brigade to try to handle the situation while dealing with potentially life-threatening interference from both S. O. S. As well as the publicity and money-hungry Mayor of Paris (Anne Marivin) who is hosting a triathlon in the Seine.

Under Paris is the latest Netflix release and comes to us via versatile genre director Xavier Gens. The Under Pars is another entry in the well-tapped well of the subgenre of Shark movies that ever since the release of Jaws have come to acknowledge that the bar will never be set with some opting for character studies, some using the format as an excuse for cheapness, while others go to the extreme of over-the-top excess (see examples of Deep Blue Sea and The Meg films). With Under Paris or Sous la Seine we definitely have an example of over-the-top excess and it’s the best kind of ridiculousness that I’ll admit I’m a sucker for.


While the Under Paris has an environmental subtext in discussing real-world issues like climate change and the Pacific Garbage Patch, that’s honestly pretty secondary so this is less An Inconvenient Truth and more The Day After Tomorrow if the villain were sharks instead of global warming. From the opening slaughter at the garbage patch that cuts loose with the blood and gore in a rather refreshing fashion (even if I’ll admit I could’ve gone for some more practical work intermixed with what we have) Under Paris delivers the intensity and excess you’d expect from a movie like this and it unapologetically dives in and goes for it.

The acting from our leads of Berenice Bejo and Nassime Lyes is good and I give the actors props for treating this material as seriously as they would a procedural like Spiral. Anne Marivin serves as our secondary antagonist as a greedy mayor a la Jaws who isn’t even trying to be subtle from her introduction that has her gesticulating over a scale model of Paris illustrating her big plans for the triathlon.

And finally, we have the shark itself, Lilith. While the special effects for the shark aren’t top-notch (it’s a modestly budgeted French film), the producers compensate for the lack of finer detail and rendering power with creativity and spirit. They could have simply stuck with the concept of a “shark in the Seine,” which would have been enough to sell the movie, but they go several steps further with unexpected revelations about the shark not only have (sometimes literal) Earth-shattering effects but become borderline apocalyptic.

I’ll admit, it’s challenging to objectively review a movie like *Under Paris* due to its numerous logical and scientific leaps. However, it’s precisely this quality that makes it so engaging rare B-movie that could commit to a bonkers high concept premise without feeling the need to wink at the camera and let the audience know it’s in on the joke. Under Paris has scares that work, the action’s exhilarating, and it’s just fun. Sometimes all you need is fun escapist nonsense and you’ll find that here I assure you.

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