Shark movies have always had a bad rep, mostly because they tend to fail massively against the best of them al –JAWS. But The Shallows seems to be one of the few exceptions to the rule, especially as it relies solely on gripping human drama and emotion revolving around a surfer who finds herself trying to escape a great white shark.
The Story 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.
What Worked The Shallows doesn’t muck around a convoluted storyline and that’s one of the most refreshing parts of the film. Ultimately it’s a game of wits between Lively and a shark and it strips the raw emotion and fear to its very basics.
What Didn’t Watching a shark that transforms from an Apex Predator marking its feeding ground into an obsessed killer was admittedly a bit of a stretch. Never mind some of the kills in the show, in the later parts of the film, the shark truly becomes a crazed killer hell bent on killing its prey. Sharks don’t really do that…do they? (JAWS IV: The Revenge, anyone?)
Plus Points Lively showing off her acting chops. Basically, The Shallows is the actress’ Castaway and she certainly shows she has the range to carry a film all by herself. Props also go to Steven Seagull, who is arguably the best co-star since Wilson. Great cinematography too, specifically with the surfing bits.
Minus Points Some of the scenes can be too graphic for viewing, especially the parts where Nancy tries to treat her wounds using only what’s available to her. Some of the effects tend to be a bit choppy too.
Conclusion As far as shark movies go, The Shallows ranks up there with the best. It’s lean, mean and certainly entertaining. In a sea of sharks, this thriller rises above the rest and delivers a satisfying bite to truly hook you in on the human drama that transpires on screen.