The Shallows 2016 Blake Lively surfing

The Shallows [2016]

Being a sucker for shark movies, it was hard to avoid watching this movie, although I knew it’s pretty commercial. I often mention my hatred for milking and in this case, it was the shark sub-genre being milked for money, so any endorsement towards this type of endeavor immediately made me feel dirty and like a sell-out. However, considering that The Shallows was one R rating away from being praised here as a nice exploitation flick with an interesting setup, I have to be careful. So, what do we have here? One sleek looking PG-13 shark movie starring beautiful Blake Lively that’s visually great but with a wobbly atmosphere and story that we knew where it’s gonna end up right from the get-go. I mean, for fuck’s sake, we know that she’s gonna make it, the only question that remains is how’s she going to kill that fucking shark. A magnificent looking shark, if I might add, almost as beautiful as our main star Blake that reprised her candy role from Savages. Director Jaume Collet-Serra, best known for his remake of House of Wax and series of Liam Neeson flicks, knew what he was doing, well aware that The Shallows basically has three elements: cinematography, Blake and the shark. Unabashedly taking the risk, he made a decent movie that will keep your attention for eighty minutes. I wonder, how come they didn’t opt out for a more brutal and grueling movie with this setup, a movie that would have undoubtedly made all its money on subsequent Blu-ray and streaming sales, but what’s done is done.

Nancy Adams, a young and dashing medical student, just loves surfing, something she inherited from her mother who just recently died from cancer. After getting to a remote beach in Baja California, a place where her mother used to surf, she finds herself in surfers paradise. However, there’s something prowling these waters, something that might spoil her little paradise.

I have to admit that the first twenty minutes are pretty cringy with a lot of emotional milking and things you would expect to find in some made-for-tv melodrama. Things start looking much, much better once the shark arrives. CGI and special effects were great, creating some pretty cool scenes, especially towards the end. Vibrant and saturated color palette gave off a feeling of a true exotic paradise. We are now living in a time when almost anybody can make a cool CGI shark and big studios can make stunning scenes with them, as they proved in The Meg, so one has to wonder, how come no one is making that one great shark movie that will finally knock Jaws of the throne. Until that time comes, we will have to make do with what we got and what we got is not that bad. As I previously mentioned, The Shallows is pretty shallow but perfect for those nights when you’re looking for some escapist fun. There are no complex characters, situations that make you think or anything similar, just pure shark fun with Lively. Also, try not to take it too seriously, I mean that much should be obvious from the initial setup and just go with the flow because if you start questioning the story or looking for plot holes, you will find them in abundance. Just relax and enjoy and if you’re looking for some real shark action, I highly recommend The Reef.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Writer: Anthony Jaswinski

Cast: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge


IMDb Link:

YouTube player