“The Shallows” wisely doesn’t overextend its welcome into our busy lives. It offers a fast-paced tempo with just enough plot twists and character depth to keep us glued to the action for the entire 87 minutes.
Patrick King, REEL BRIEF
Moviegoers looking for a refreshing suspense film to help beat the hot summer temperatures may have found just the theater ticket in Columbia Pictures’ “The Shallows”. Forty-one years after the beaches of Amity Island were cleared by Roy Scheider’s police chief role in “Jaws”, we find another man-eating great white shark wreaking havoc in bloody waters. Is it fair to compare “The Shallows” to the one of the greatest films ever made? No. But, this 2016 adventure does an adequate job of giving audiences enough anxious moments to create uncertainty and uneasiness.
The beautiful Mrs. “Deadpool“, aka Blake Lively (married to Ryan Reynolds), confidently shines as medical student and competent surfer, Nancy, on hiatus in Mexico. The movie’s costar clearly turns out to be Lively’s eye-popping bikini—which makes “The Legend of Tarzan” loincloth look like a queen-sized beach towel. Lacking a true supporting cast, Lively smartly talks and text messages us through her disastrous surfing ordeal.
Despite presenting a predictable outcome within the first few scenes, “The Shallows” wisely doesn’t overextend its welcome into our busy lives. It offers a fast-paced tempo with just enough plot twists and character depth to keep us glued to the action for the entire 87 minutes.
While the film may slightly hurt Mexican tourism, the larger danger exposed in the movie is the feeling of invincibility by today’s younger generation. Their comfortable mindset in traveling and surfing alone will make parents everywhere tremble with worry. Regardless of one’s ability to post social media updates or have worldwide cell phone coverage, going solo on a day trip has distinct disadvantages in safety protocol. On the big screen, the 28-year old Lively’s bright and strong character feels her isolation and the need to kick into serious survival mode…and so do we.
This shark story compliments—never competes with–the original, terrifying “Jaws” thriller of 1975. “The Shallows”, though, expertly taps into our trepidation of swimming in open waters, offering tense moments captured by amazing underwater cinematography. Blake Lively’s performance is better than expected. The same can be said about the overall film.
“The Shallows” is rated PG-13 for bloody images, intense sequences of peril and brief strong language. Its running time is 1 hour and 27 minutes.
© 2016, Patrick. All rights reserved.
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