The Shallows isn’t going to make you forget about Jaws, but this lean minimalistic thriller commits to its deceit.
Camera work provides effective visuals through wide-angle and bird’s eye view shots that highlight the gravity of the situation. Deft editing creates engaging life or death moments through a combination of slow-motion and fast cuts. At sea, one miscalculation can turn our heroine into a monstrous shark’s side dish. The plot is able to offer tense scenes as the stakes are gradually raised. Lively turns in a believable performance.
It’s obvious that The Shallows is schlock material but tries to pass off as a serious survival story.
This includes an exceptional cellphone signal from obvious product placement and a malevolent shark that ignores more than a hundred pounds of ready to eat meal for a blonde skinny girl. Outdoor enthusiasts would be glad to know that according to this movie, a Go Pro is sturdy enough to survive a shark bite.
As B-movies go, this tale is blockbuster fodder. It’s essentially the same tourist vs. local monster in a will she or won’t she get eaten predicament. Yes, there’s an adorable animal who gets involved in this mess to lighten up the proceedings.
In fairness, The Shallows does have thrilling moments when watched on the big screen. Blake Lively is charismatic enough to make you root for her.