HOLLYWOOD—Let’s just be honest, it has been quite some time since audiences have been treated to a thrill-a-minute shark flick in the essence of the great classic “Jaws.” While no flick will ever live-up to the direction and the suspense-laced blockbuster that Steven Spielberg helmed, the film “The Shallows” will indeed make Americans question yet again rather it’s safe to venture into the water.
The flick which stars beauty Blake Lively, sets the premise for the film in an isolate location which at first had me worried; it’s hard to manifest a narrative in my opinion when its situation in a sole location, especially when the characters in the movie are limited. However, this is where Lively shines in my opinion. She finds a way to bring strength, charisma, energy and resourcefulness to a character that the audience will identify with if placed in a similar situation.
The movie in a nutshell involves Nancy Adams (Lively) who finds herself taking a trip to escape some personal dramas in her life after losing her mother. In the midst of surfing, she is attacked by a shark and left injured and trapped. Could you imagine being just mere feet from the shore, but standing in your way is a large man-eating shark determined to ensure that you are dinner for the night. What would you do in such a situation?
That is what is so riveting about “The Shallows.” It has this level of suspense, and critical thinking element that will keep the viewers on the edge of their seat as the movie unfolds. The movie is helmed by Jaume Collet-Serra who directed such flicks like the 2005 remake “House of Wax,” “Orphan” and recently the entertaining “Run All Night.”
It doesn’t hurt to see Collet-Serra present to the audience in its entire bloody glory Nancy’s first encounter with the shark. It’s beautifully shot in a way that captures the shear horror and anguish of being caught in such an unspeakable situation, where the options for survival are quite limited. While some spectators might suspect, the movie moves a bit slow, it’s a balance of wits, suspense and action that is perfectly paced in my opinion.
A movie of such magnitude in most cases would either move too slow or too fast. “The Shallows” allows the audience ample time to know the protagonist; I mean the initial shark attack doesn’t occur until 30 minutes into the movie. From there, its tense moment after tense moment, as our protagonist does her best to outsmart a shark that has just taken out a massive whale and has honed in on her as its target.
“The Shallows” is the perfect popcorn movie that cleverly works to deliver a compelling narrative, a protagonist viewers will identify with and a villain that proves nature is far worse than a human being on any given day.