Blake Lively. In a bikini. Stranded on a rock. Being hunted by a massive shark. Need I say more? If you’re looking for some thrills, the very occasional chuckle and a bunch of fun, then ‘The Shallows’ is the flick for you!
Nancy (Lively) is taking a break from medical school to go surfing in Mexico following the death of her mother. She heads to a secret beach, known only by a few locals (just so you know that no one is coming to rescue her), that her mother had visited many years before. After lots of slow motion action shots of Nancy surfing with a couple of local guys, she finds herself alone in the water and drawn towards something floating a little further out to sea…
The movie had barely started before someone had already let out a shrill scream. The rest of us movie goers chuckled, but it wasn’t long before hands were covering eyes and hands were gripping the arm rests. Director Jaume Collet- Serra has done a great job at building suspense and creating so many frustrating moments where you want to yell “WHY NANCY? WHY YOU DO THIS!?” Don’t get me wrong, Nancy is no helpless damsel in distress. Her background in medicine is probably her main asset and her survival skills are mostly impressive (except for that time she can’t even keep down a crab).
Every leading lady needs her co-star, and in ‘The Shallows’ the co-star is in the form of an injured gull named Steven Seagull. Having been clipped by the shark, he finds himself stranded on the same rock as Nancy and he is a handsome addition to most shots. Disappointingly no romance develops between them, but it does inspire a few nice plot points for a movie that takes place on a rock.
Overall the storyline is mostly superfluous, no one’s going to ‘The Shallows’ for much more than a bit of fun, and it’s a good thing too, because the ending is almost bad enough to sour the whole experience. You know when there’s that bit in the movie about 5 minutes before the actual ending, where the credits should have starting rolling? But it goes on anyway, cheapens the entire experience and you leave feeling that slight twinge of remorse? Yes. That happens in ‘The Shallows’. BIG TIME. It shouldn’t put you off from a great night out with Blake Lively and a Shark though!
Rating: M Offensive language & content that may disturb.