In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Blake Lively was partly inspired by her husband Ryan Reynolds work in the similarly minimalist film Buried (2010), stating "that was one of the reasons why I wanted to take on this movie so much, because I know how tough that was for him and how rewarding it was." See more »
The waves seem to work at the command of the surfers: one minute they are happily surfing huge waves, the next they are sitting down, talking, with the waves non-existent. See more »
[looks at photo]
Is that you on the beach?
Oh, no, no, that's my, that's my mom.
See more »
El Lado Más Bestia de la Vida (Walk On The Wild Side)
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by Albert Pla
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment España, S.L.
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Nancy and Carlos are driving to the beach. See more »
A true shark movie that threatens to be better than the rest, and whilst to some degree it out performs most of its peers, it just can't overcome the CGI scourge that ultimately spoils its authenticity. Blake is lively though not expansive enough in her acting range to carry a thriller on her own. The behemoth that pursues her looks good in close ups and stock footage, but yet again just when you've suspended disbelief and in the grip of fear, the juxtaposition in the animation effects lets you off the hook and back to the safety of your seat.
A superior shark movie imo (e.g. 12 Days of Terror, The Reef, Dark Tide) doesn't lose your trust the way The Shallows relaxes its grip when it's antagonist fails to seamlessly synchronise with the environment. Unfortunately as a result, the attack scenes mostly miss the mark and don't appear natural (when does one shark attack and devour multiple people in quick succession?), though the suspense is certainly present in the pacing and timing.
The idea of the rogue shark stalking prey in the isolated cove is explained (or perhaps contrived) and so the survival match at least has a plot basis on which to unfold. From this survivalist perspective, the film works and keeps you engaged as Lively employs her limited resources to countenance the great white terror whose scale is by the way, not unrealistic (though still of school bus proportions) . Overall, pleasant scenery, decent sound & visual effects (notwithstanding the CGI) but it doesn't rise beyond B-grade to beckon a second viewing.
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