If you saw the trailer for The Shallows (TomatoMeter 77%) starring Blake Lively, you basically know the story. American girl, troubled by the loss of her mother, travels to a secret beach in Mexico from her mom’s stories to figure out life. Only to be bitten by a shark, her goal is to somehow get back to shore without getting eaten. Sounds pretty simple right?
What the trailer doesn’t give you is the intensity this film creates with each passing minute.
Blake Lively, is well, Blake Lively and the director knew it. Spending what felt like 5 minutes using every camera angle possible showing her undressing into her bikini, she made being stranded on a rock in a swimsuit and wetsuit look like Spring Break. Forget about her good looks as her acting skills keep the audience involved for the full hour and 26 minutes with nothing more than a seagull, a dead whale and a CGI shark.
Anybody who has watched Discovery’s Shark Week will instantly find flaws in The Shallows’ shark behavior. The shark’s activities reminded me of the genetically enhanced Deep Blue Sea sharks, eating away a metal buoy, craftily cheating a normal path to shock Blake and chomping away at innocent bystanders who dare try to save her (or steal a surfboard.) I found myself instead counting the seconds to pick up the floating helmet and hoping that oil tanker would see her sputtering flares. Only to kill off the shark with the craziest use of breaking a chain and a pile of iron bars at the bottom, The Shallows left me thoroughly entertained.
For all the issues with the shark, The Shallows presents a story line that someone born and raised in Dallas, Texas could never experience in my lifetime. After the credits rolled, it’s clear that Mexico wasn’t the destination either as most of the filming took place in Australia. With all its faults though, the film is worth a watch.
I give The Shallows: 6 out of 10