Release Date: June 24, 2016
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Cast: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen Sedona Legge
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 96 minutes
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Ombra Films, Weimaraner Republic Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
I’m not into the beach, surfing, or giant fish. So there wasn’t too much that got my attention when I first learned about The Shallows. There’s big shoes to fill trying to top JAWS. The trailers looked fine though, but I wasn’t counting the days until its release. Knowing director Jaume Collet-Serra was attached did change my attitude towards it. I actually love every film he’s been attached to , House of Wax, Orphan, Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night. To me this man knows how to put together engaging films. Luckily, with the addition of Blake Lively (The Town) playing Nancy, going in I was optimistic and walked out fairly satisfied.
One thing that’s appreciated is the mystery within the film. Early on you’re on an island, but are constantly reminded that you’re not supposed to know its name or its whereabouts. It doesn’t linger on too much, moving on to the beauty of the landscape and how remote it is from the rest of the world. A fair question most would ask is, why the main character goes too far off in the first place. And the story gives a valid sentimental reason for Nancy to take the trip. It’s heart felt and warm, and you learn she’s just as human as the rest of us with all the same ups and downs.
The film isn’t too long either, getting right to the point of why we’re all here; to see a giant shark mess some stuff up! It does in more ways than one with the way the story presents itself towards the beginning, and how it throws you right in the middle of the great white’s razor sharp teeth. There’s a small cast of course, and some make it out alive where others don’t. The characters’ deaths are quite fulfilling as well.
The introduction of the shark was exceptional. The way it was shot was done with great precision and laid the map on how dangerous this giant animal really was. He/she was truly a monster with the only goal in mind being to kill. That may be my only complaint in the whole film, where I thought the shark was too aggressive. I’m not an expert on sharks, but me knowing why the shark camped out in the shallows so much would’ve been a great addition to the story. If the shark was hungry that would be one thing. However, countless bodies are left behind for meals, and he wants to continue to kill as if the world will end if he/she doesn’t.
Seeing Nancy struggle to survive made the film a float. If you didn’t care about her none of this would’ve worked. There wasn’t much to her character, but the small character development the film provided was enough for you to get behind her. She even made a little friend during her journey who almost didn’t make it, and his/her adventure was just as entertaining as Nancy’s. When she was in pain you felt it and was contemplating just as she was on what the next move should be.
The Shallows isn’t a run to the theater now you must see type of film, but it is entertaining enough for the average movie goer. With a short runtime, the pace gradually moves along, not sticking to one focal point for too long. The shark was dangerous and provided everything the film promised, and maybe a little more. Expectations were low, and it’s satisfying to say the least. It is worth an outing if your interest was already piqued.