Saturday, July 2, 2016

Movie Review: The Shallows

The summer shark terror movie has a long tradition, from classics like Jaws to one of my personal favorites Deep Blue Sea. The Shallows exist near the bottom of the list with Blake Lively fighting for survival after a shark. Lively stars as Nancy, a medical school student who has decided to take off from class to travel after the death of her mother. She seeks out the Mexican beach her mother visited when she found out she was pregnant. It is an isolated location and when Nancy's friend excuses herself due to a hangover, Nancy proceeds to go alone. 

Nancy shows off her surfing skill to a pair of surfers, one of whom wears a headcam to record his stunts. There is a prologue that introduces the threat with this headcam and the shark that doesn't show up nearly early enough. These shots give a bit away that didn't necessary add much to the story. Nancy stays out later than the other surfers and paddles her surfboard towards the carcass of a whale.

These poor choices and inexplicable decisions lead to the attack and force Nancy to perch upon the dead whale body while her sharp-toothed attacker circles around in anticipation. The attack also leaves her with a nasty gash in her legs that leaks out blood every time she enters the water. There are lots of close calls and teeth chomping but barely missing. Nancy puts her medical school training to work stitching up her leg with her earrings. These gruesome scenes are not for the faint of heart.

Several other men show up to serve as shark bait and a few quick obviously computerized shark scenes of gore. The story of survival continues as Nancy plans and seeks out help but finds herself on her own. The final battle with the shark is interesting but with hunger, the sun, and her constantly bleeding wound, it is hard to believe that she actually made it through. The movie doesn't do much other than have a few shark scenes and lots of closeup of Lively in a bathing suit. I'd recommend it for only the most avid shark fans and then as a rental.   

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