The Shallows (2016) – reviewed by George

Filmed in Australia, this woman-vs.-shark movie is an exercise in suspense and fear. Nancy (Blake Lively), a medical student who has been questioning her desire to be a doctor, has taken time off to travel to Mexico and see the beach where her mother, who has died, surfed when she was pregnant with Nancy.
The beach is secluded and features no amenities, but has great waves, and the two guys already surfing there look like they are having fun, so Nancy attaches her board to her ankle and goes for it. Swimming out far enough to catch a wave is a bit scary because the waves are so high she has to force her board into a downward dive to get under each wave to get past it. But when she does, the ride is magnificent. The photography is fantastic throughout the movie. The surfing shots are wonderful, and there’s one shot where we can see the huge shark inside a cresting wave. Unfortunately for them neither Nancy nor the two men see this.
When the two guys leave, the shark attacks. Nancy loses her board and is stranded on a small rock with a gash in her thigh. Now the setup is complete and the battle between the two protagonists begins.
Lively has always been an appealing performer, and here you naturally root for her, even though the screenwriter, Anthony Jaswinski, has cleverly made the shark so sentient that the possibility she could live but lose a limb is always present. So you worry about her too.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra with cinematography by Flavio Martinez Labiano, and visual and special effects by several effects houses, this will certainly hold your interest and keep your breath bated. Good work by all.

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One Response to The Shallows (2016) – reviewed by George

  1. nita166 says:

    I give this **.5 stars. I agree it is action packed. But it is supposed to be Mexico. I want the correct geography. Also, anybody that watches Shark Week anything knows this shark would have lost interest long before she made it to shore. In my opinion this was well done in Orca and doesn’t need to be redone. From a visual point of view, aside of that geography hick-up, it is a visually appealing film. The action is note worthy. All that toget still doesn’t put it in my Jaws genre.

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