Out of the many ways, there are to die on this planet, the one that I personally never have to worry about is death by shark attack. Seeing how I have zero interest to swim in shark-infested waters for both physical and common sense reasons I can honestly say that the only way a pissed off shark will ever get me is if it learns to walk on land, ring my doorbell, and shiv me in the stomach. The same can’t be said for some people and that leads us to The Shallows.
Blake Lively plays Nancy Adams, A med student who decides to go to a secret beach in Mexico to honor her mother who died shortly before due to an illness. Now most people would have reservations about going to undisclosed locations in Mexico alone given all the murders and mariachi music but Nancy decides that riding the waves is much more important than personal safety. After enjoying the scenery and having a sitcom fight with her father on the phone, she decides to go back into the water and straight into the jaws of a very angry great white shark.
Now many shark experts claim that Great Whites aren’t very aggressive and considering I’ve never gotten close enough to one to ask it how it’s day was going I’ll decide to take their word for it. However, this shark I can only assume is related to one the from Deep Blue Sea and Nancy’s mother worked for Aquatica because this shark is angrier and bloodthirsty than me after sitting through 13 minutes of Basketball Wives: Singapore while the NBA finals are on and this is the meat and potatoes of our story.
Nancy then proceeds to spend the next 60 minutes taking the beating of her life. Shark Attacks, jaded rocks, fire coral, baby crabs, hypothermia, and gangrene amongst others. If sharks were as cool as bears then Blake Lively would definitely be getting an academy award for this performance.
The movie does a great job building up tension and setting up which is essentially a bottle film. Nancy is trapped on a rock with nowhere to turn and the film is dependent on Blake Lively performance seeing as she is really the only character in this movie outside of a few jobbers you meet for about 30 seconds and a giant CGI shark. Where The Shallows fails is the constant jump between of serious suspenseful drama and schlocky Looney Tunes episode. Moments of legitimate concern are drowned out ridiculously unrealistic moments of which a predator movie turns into a full-on monster B movie. With that said, there is enough to enjoy with this thriller. The bottle aspect of the film keeps you on the edge of your seat, Blake Lively’s screen presence shines brightly in one of her best roles to date and the movie keeps everything short and never feels like it drags on past the point of welcome. The Shallows is the best movie of the weekend so if you can only watch one new release this is it.
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