The Shallows

The Shallows

Director: Juame Collet-Serra

Rating: B-

Upon deep reflection, I have decided that watching The Shallows is much like eating McDonalds for dinner, both of which I did in the last week. What I mean is that both events (the film and the fast food eating) possessed equal amounts of enjoyment, critical thought, and regret. 

The film essentially fills 90 minutes of screen time with Blake Lively in a bikini, fighting for her life against a giant shark. And in terms of plot development, that’s really it. Nancy (aka Lively) goes surfing at this beach with no name (and no phone service, duh), stays out longer than all the other surfers to ‘get one more wave yo’, and classic! Gets attacked by a giant shark. The Shallows is both infuriating and enjoyable in its straightforwardness, but the film served up enough doses of shock, Lively’s smokin’ body, and scary shark to keep me well and truly entertained.

But before I am accused of oversimplifying things, there were fleeting and enjoyable moments of ‘rad surfing’, thrilling shark v man action, and yes, even some minor character development. And despite some whale-sized plot holes (see what I did there?)—Nancy’s ability to survive for multiple days with a GIANT gash in her leg and no food or water, the ultimate showdown between Lively and ‘Shark’ being somewhat unbelievable, and the fact that ‘Shark’ became fixated on skinny little Lively despite a huge dead and rotting whale carcass some 50 metres away from the film’s action—I actually really bloody enjoyed the film. 

For the purpose that The Shallows served, that being a mindless thriller/action flick, it certainly delivers. Whether it was my exceptionally low expectations or the surprisingly good (albeit patchy) filmography and special effects, my overall response to the film was that of unexpected satisfaction and enjoyment.

This article first appeared in Issue 24, 2016.
Posted 12:24pm Saturday 24th September 2016 by Nita Sullivan.