Thursday, June 23, 2016

THE SHALLOWS (B)


Loosely employing an amalgamated hodge-podge of the summer movies and genres that directly proceeded it – The Conjuring (horror), Captain America (superheroes), Finding Dory (fish and stuff) – the not-wholly-unattractive Blake Lively takes a plunge with a great white appetite for destruction…  THE SHALLOWS is a hypnotically well made, pulse-pounding, nerve-wracking, survivalist, B-movie thrill ride.  A brisk, low-budget, female-centric respite from the larger pot-clanging movie boys of summer, it’s a film that (by its own titled admission) doesn’t have much story to tell: Girls goes surfing, girl gets bullied by shark, girl must fight to not be dinner.  Simple as that.  Not unlike a space obstacle-dodging Sandra Bullock, Lively delivers a fully engaging performance with equal parts fear and resolve.  Seriously, considering the trimmed down narrative and character attire she emerges as a strong, semi-layered character and not just a slab of blonde meat (well, to the shark she’s still just a slab of blonde meat).  And all of this grizzled simplicity plays out with top notch special effects and a complimentary tone that asks us to cautiously explore what we might do given the same nightmarish situations.  Plus it’s only 87 minutes so come on…  It may lack any sense of true depth, but THE SHALLOWS is still an efficiently chilling and effectively cheesy deep sea Gravity.

Starring: Blake Lively 
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra (RUN ALL NIGHT, UNKNOWN and NON-STOP)
Rated: PG-13
Running time: 1hr. 27min.
Story: When Nancy goes surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.

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