The terror of the deep! An maw of endless fangs! There are endless descriptions for a way to describe a shark, the aquatic predator that we devote a whole week of cable programming to. Tonight we get the latest addition to the shark attack suspense genre entitled the Shallows. In today’s modern world, shark attack movies have been trailing down the ridiculous path. It makes one wonder if we will ever get a serious shark flick able to compete with Jaws? So what is the verdict of this film? As always read on to find out.
- Beautiful scenery
- A good portrayal of living to your limits
- Decent suspense
The most majestic thing about the shallows is the beautiful scenery of the film location. Beaches with brilliant white sands lace a crystal clear lagoon, where reefs of varying hues make for a stunning view under the calm sky. Those who appreciate exotic lands and kicking visual effects will be happy with the high definition wonders on the big screen. Most guy audience members though will enjoy a different type of scenery in the form of Blake Lively navigating the waters in a fancy bikini. I think the camera men had a fixation on her behind, because the camera had a fixation with posterior end of our blonde heroine.
With the visuals behind, the Shallows has painted a vivid picture of someone on the brink of death. Lively’s character is pushed to her limits, forced to use ingenuity (and her convenient medical training) to survive on the desolate rock she is trapped on. It’s intriguing to see all the things she dos to get back to shore, as well as see how her body changes as its exposed to the elements. Are some of the things over dramatic or convenient at times? Yes, but hey you sometimes have to stretch the truth when facing a gigantic, man-eating shark.
Nevertheless, much of this movie’s appealing factor is the suspense, as Lively’s character tests luck and skills while traversing the reef. While seeing the same thing gets a bit dull (not to mention predictable) at times, the editing and music will build up enough tension to have many on the edge of their seats. I admit once or twice they led me into uncertain waters, unable to deduce what the fate of leading lady was.
- Repetitive and drawn out at times
- Overdramatic moments
- The ending
With survival movies, comes the expectation of slowness and the Shallows is no exception to the rule. Her battle against the shark is somewhat exciting, but that suspense starts to wane as she does the same thing over and over again. The movie has plenty of “close call” moments, often involve our bikini clad warrior falling into the water and flailing about before the CGI monster attempts to devour her. Between those moments, it’s a lot of her just sitting on a rock, staring into the waters as she dehydrates in the sun. If that sounds exciting, then your heart will be pumping with glee.
In addition to the repetitive scenes, The Shallows also dove into the overdramatic depths. Blake Lively does her role well, but the director had a thing for overdramatic flare. From slow motion diving under the waves to the super molasses like movements through the water, it’s all drawn out to fill more screen time. It was the drawn out editing that probably gave the movie a majority of its length and it added very little to the story (which you’ve gotten like 70% of the movie from the trailers. Oh well, you get your 90 minutes worth.
Perhaps the cheesiest part of this movie though…is the ending. Okay, shark movies only have a few alleys to traverse in terms of the finale and many of them are melodramatic and ridiculous. This one though, well it was a little too much stretch of the imagination to stomach. After all the realistic survival instincts, our director/screenplay writers decided to defy physics with the dramatic climax that felt more of a quick wrap up. My fellow audience members all agreed on this, and wondered why such a hasty ending was their solution. It lacked emotion. It lacked satisfaction! And…it defied physics to my understanding. Oh well can’t get them all right, but we can certainly do a little better than this.
When you go to see The Shallows, you are going to get exactly what you expect. It’s a simplistic shark survival film with a pretty woman to fill the silver screen. Lively does a great a job with the center role, and she sold to me that she was suffering. Yet it was not enough to save me from a little boredom brought on by the repetitive fluff editing put in. Chances are you’ve seen about 60-70% of the movie from the trailers and unfortunately the ending doesn’t pack the punch. Oh well at least it is only 90 minutes right? Is it worth a trip to the movie theater? Nope, but definitely catch it on shark week when it is sure to premier.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0