The Shallows Review – Shallow indeed

A movie that reminds you of how good that other movie about a shark attack is.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge



Nancy (Lively) is working her way thru a personal crisis after her mother’s death after a long battle with cancer. Leaving med school behind, she goes in search of a beach her mother surfed 20-some-odd years ago after hearing she was pregnant with Nancy. The beach is beautiful and is perfect for surfing, but things go horribly wrong for Nancy as she must use her cunning to survive a shark that attacked her and has her stranded 200 yards from shore.

The Shallows starts off pretty ominously when a kid finds a Go-Pro strapped to a helmet on the beach. On it is a video of two men enjoying the waves, a small glimpse of Nancy, and the shark that attacks and eats them. It leads the audience to believe the tale of survival might not have a happy ending and a promise of what to come.

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

What eventually comes is an okay flick that doesn’t try to add to the small genre of shark attack films, it just wants to capitalize on summertime fears. It isn’t a bad movie. There are a few cool surfing sequences and the camera loves to show off how gorgeous Lively the ocean is. Tension is high every time Nancy gets into the water to attempt to swim to shore or get something she can use. For CGI creature, the shark is pretty terrifying looking. Lively does a good job looking terrified or dejected while lever losing her beauty (even though Nancy is losing a lot of blood and the elements are eating at her).

One problem is Lively doesn’t hold you with her emotions like a better actress might. Considering she is the only person on screen for large amounts of the film and there are long sequences of her on the rock dealing with her injuries and the elements, it makes it difficult to feel her fear, her despair, or be excited when she is fighting off the shark.

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

No explanation for why the shark keeps hunting Nancy after it took a bite of her leg is given or why it eats the other suffers. Sharks don’t enjoy the taste of people, so normally when a shark bites someone, it is because they are curious as to what they are. After realizing the human is not something edible, the shark will swim off leaving the person to bleed out if immediate medical attention is not provided. I guess the film makers were banking on us not caring about facts and capitalizing on most people fearing what lurks in the ocean.

The Shallows is an okay movie teens will enjoy if they haven’t already seen Jaws or just want to ogle Blake Lively. Just keep expectations low.

3 out of 5 Stars

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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