Review by Lauryn Angel
The Shallows will likely be compared to Steven Spielberg’s classic shark-attack movie, Jaws, but such comparisons will likely leave audiences disappointed. While Jaume Collet-Serra’s film has a lot of action, Anthony Jaswinki’s screenplay is somewhat lacking.
When we meet Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) at the beginning of the film, she is on her way to a secret beach in Mexico – the same beach her mother visited when she was pregnant with Nancy. Once she reaches the beach, Nancy meets two other surfers, one wearing a helmet with a GoPro, which is featured in the movie’s opening and factors into the story later. After some great footage of Nancy and her friends hanging ten (with some terrible CGI of Lively’s face onto the body of her stunt double), the two young men leave Nancy alone in the water, and that’s when her horror begins. Nancy is attacked by a great white shark and, finding her way to some elevated rocks, stranded in the water. She’s not terribly far from the beach, but there’s no way she can reach safety with the shark circling.
Blake Lively does a great job of carrying the movie. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have much of a script to work with. Jaswinki and Collet-Serra don’t seem to trust the audience to understand Nancy’s motivations or what she is planning, so Nancy talks to herself quite a bit, merely narrating what she is doing. The film really suffers due to the over-explanation. The powerful visuals should really be left to speak for themselves.
The Shallows is decent. It has a likeable, attractive protagonist, and plenty of thrilling action.