Movie Review – The Shallows

The only aspect that’s truly shallow is the film’s weak storyline.

⭐ ⭐
Josip Knezevic

Sony has teamed up with one of the hottest stars on the planet and one of the hottest surfing brands right now to create, “Ripcurl: The Movie”. Sorry, I got that wrong. It’s The Shallows starring Blake Lively, but unlike what the trailer suggests, this film is more of an advertisement for surfing. It’s as if the people behind Victoria’s Secret remade Jaws.

The premise surrounds the life of a young medical student Nancy Adams (Lively) who travels out to a secluded beach in Mexico following the passing of her mother. The beach has a particular meaning to her, as it is the same beach her mother surfed after finding out she was pregnant with her. But very soon, the beach begins to take on a different meaning as a large great white shark begins to stalk and hunt her down.

Although I was quietly excited by this film’s trailer, I was unfortunately met with everything I hoped it wouldn’t be and more. What I hoped it could be was a well written story filled with tension. What I received was Blake Lively modelling in bikinis. Coupled with numerous amounts of product placement, the whole affair – for the beginning, at least – felt akin to that of one large advertisement.

But what about when the shark comes? Well, thankfully that’s when the story picks up the pace, but it’s not long before it stumbles over its own heels. There are numerous convenient moments that occur in an attempt to build suspense. I challenge anyone to debate how the final act is not one of the most fortunate resolutions that has occurred in cinema history – perhaps even besting Vin Diesel’s leap of faith in Fast and Furious 6. The emotional connection between Nancy’s grief for her mother is also desperately pushed for the audience to connect, but fitting to the film’s title, there’s not much to grasp at.

At least throughout it all the film looks gorgeous. The bright blue colours of the ocean have been captured well and the shark has also been brought to life with grace. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to warrant spending your money at the cinema.

The Shallows is available in Australian cinemas from August 18

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

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