You always need a good shark movie every now and then.
Deep Blue Sea.
Ghost Shark 2, even!
Just something that celebrates the insane ability of the shark. They are truly a marvelous species and deserve greatness!
But of course it doesn’t help when the story dictates ‘implied evil’, which is something the likes of even the classic Jaws suffers from.
And this, along with many other things, is the fault with The Shallows.
Still reeling from the loss of her mother, medical student Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) travels to a secluded beach for some much-needed solace. Despite the danger of surfing alone, Nancy decides to soak up the sun and hit the waves. Suddenly, a great white shark attacks, forcing her to swim to a giant rock for safety. Left injured and stranded 200 yards from shore, the frightened young woman must fight for her life as the deadly predator circles her in its feeding ground.
They have this thing at the start of the film where Lively‘s Nancy Adams is texting her friend who’s hungover and stuck in bed. Presented in this really fun graphical overlay that immerses us in what Adams is doing, all I thought was “Damn! That’s really awesome!”.
Pity the rest of the film doesn’t play out like that.
Shallow on scares and lacking any real urgency, The Shallows is just about that.
Blake Lively is definitely lively, excelling in engaging the audience for the majority of the film she steers alone.
And it is very much alone, as the CGI shark isn’t really there; If this film does have any practical effects, then it missed the mark on making them look real (especially some of the moments with Lively heading out to the breaks on her surfboard).
With slow-mo in abundance and nothing else, The Shallows is a missed opportunity to do anything great with something that had potential.
But hey, at least the shark was mostly bad-ass, right?
Steven Seagull is the highlight of this movie.