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‘Under Paris’ film review: We watched this triathlon shark attack movie on Netflix, so you don’t have to

Yes, there's a Netflix film about a shark attack during a triathlon in Paris - what timing! We watched it, so you don't have to...

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Imagine the excitement at TRI247 HQ when we heard there was going to be a film featuring a triathlon coming soon to Netflix. Get the popcorn…

That excitement was dampened somewhat when we found out that the triathlon in question was going to be targeted by a shark. Tri fans, meet ‘Under Paris’ (2024).

Do we really need to give people more reasons not to do a triathlon? Now we need to add sharks in the water to the list of excuses? Aren’t there enough concerns about water quality in the Seine ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games?

Despite these concerns, I got out the popcorn and made sure my wife, who is already a nervous swimmer, was asleep before sitting down to watch this ‘thriller’ with an open mind.

Now, bearing in mind that my favourite film is Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, it is obvious I can enjoy a film on its merits while ignoring blatant inaccuracies or dodgy accents, etc. In truth, there were too many in this film to look past.  

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Spoiler Alert – film synopsis detailed below 

The film opens with a team of marine biologists out in the ocean tracking sharks. Unsurprisingly, this being a shark movie, they meet a grizzly end with just one making it out of the water alive. Bear with us.

Three years after the shark attack, Paris is hosting the World Triathlon Championships on the Seine for the first time ahead of the Olympics. This feels familiar…

It is suggested that there is a shark in the Seine. The sole surviving marine biologist from that fateful trip (Sophia), is called upon to help out, as it turns out her old nemesis is lurking in the waters of the French capital. 

Olympic Games Triathlon Paris Test Event August 2023
Triathletes swim in the River Seine during the Olympic Games Test Event in Paris in August 2023 (Photo – World Triathlon).
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The show (triathlon) must go on

Despite these rumours, and some evidence of the shark’s presence, city officials are very dismissive and want their triathlon centrepiece to go ahead regardless; no little fish will stop the big day. 

Despite further incidents, including one where 12 people are killed and multiple people are injured, all of which would no doubt have been recorded on mobile devices and uploaded to social media, the Mayor of Paris ploughs ahead with the race.

Despite some ambitious plans to stop the shark, which it now turns out is asexual and can reproduce on its own at an unprecedented rate, and its offspring, those plans fail. Unsurprisingly, the sharks then attack the triathlon centrepiece. 

Even though you have already needed to turn your brain off to get to this stage of the film, it descends even further into farce when the army shooting at the shark while it tucks into the triathletes, also inadvertently hit some unexploded World War Two shells, causing the film to go from shark/horror to full on disaster movie.

Multiple bridges are destroyed, and then an unexplained tsunami engulfs central Paris, leaving the Champs des Mars Park around the Eiffel Tower underwater.

Paris is now ruled by the sharks, who now inhabit the flooded metro. During the end credits, it is suggested that these new shark species spread all over Paris/ the Seine and then go on a global tour, taking over the waterways in London, New York, and Bangkok! 

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TRI247 ‘Under Paris’ verdict

Look, despite the apparent flaws in the film narrative, the cinematography is beautiful and the sharks are much more believable than Jaws.

There are moments of real tension, especially at the start, and the acting is believable until the city officials are introduced. If you really, and I mean really, are stuck for what to watch after finishing your latest series, then it could help fill a couple of hours.

But it certainly won’t be listed as a classic on any list, except maybe a list of top 5 films, including a triathlon!

Oh, and maybe leave it until AFTER the big dance next month.

Patrick Alexander
Written by
Patrick Alexander
Triathlete turned keen trail runner, Patrick is Commercial Director at TRI247 and RUN247.
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