July 5, 2016 The Shallows (Movie Review)
Blake Lively (Gossip Girl 2007, Savages 2012) makes her triumphant return to the silver screen, following a leave to be a full-time mother, as Nancy in the new film The Shallows. Talented Director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan 2009, House of Wax 2005), with the help of the ingenious Writer Anthony Jaswinski (Vanishing on 7th Street 2010, Kristy 2014), created the survival film of the year about not giving up hope nor faith. Other characters, with minor lines, but playing important key characters, such as Oscar Jaenada (The Losers 2010, Cantinflas 2014) as Carlos, Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider 2007, Red Dawn 2012) as Nancy’s farther, and Sedona Legge as Chloe, Nancy’s little sister, also help make The Shallows a challenger for one of the best survival movies in quite sometime. Released in New York City on June 21st, and everywhere else on June 26th, it is no surprise that The Shallows made a said $26 million in its opening weekend and is expected to have a bigger box office impact in the weekends to follow.
When Nancy loses her mother to cancer, she decides to take some time off from med-school and life altogether. Nancy remembers her mother talking about a beautiful island in Mexico, and when she gets there, with the help of Carlos, she finally feels at peace, having located “paradise.” She spends the day surfing the big waves and meeting new friends along the way. Feeling tired, Nancy takes a break. She video-calls her sister Chloe, and after talking with her, her father urges her to go back home.
Nancy dismisses her dad’s pleas and goes back to having peaceful fun. As the sun is setting, her newfound friends also call it a day, and what she sees next sets the sail for the tragedy that follows. A big whale with a large chunk of flesh bitten off of it is floating in the water, when Nancy tries to go back ashore, an enormous great white shark tips her over into the water and bites her leg forcing her to quickly climb the floating whale.
Witnessing the shark’s intelligence first-hand, Nancy swims fast to the nearest rock, which is located in low tides and she remembers that one of the new friends told her that tide will subside on the next day leaving her with only hours to figure out her next move. After many attempts to swim back and failed rescues from multiple people, Nancy grabs the camera of one of the deceased friends and records her last good-byes for her sister and dad. Feeling optimistic and full of rage, Nancy swims to the nearest buoy and begins a battle between life and death in what seems like a cage match between herself and the great white shark. Will someone find the video and aid to her rescue or will she fight till the end with what little energy she still has?
When the trailer for The Shallows first hit the internet a few months back, viewers were unenthusiastic about it, thinking it would only give Jaws a bad name. Then little by little people started realizing that both movies are different from one another and that they both have their pros and cons. The Shallows, however, has little to no cons and as mentioned in the beginning, Lively returns with a bang delivering an action packed performance full of mystery and suspense.
In addition, The animatronics of the shark were so incredibly realistic that the fact that half of this movie was shot in a giant swimming pool did not seem to matter as much. Adding to a realistic look, Lively even was hurt during the making of the film and her cuts and bruises reportedly made the final cut. Sometimes, low-key movies make the grandest impressions. With that said, the fact that The Shallows has been released in the summer, close to the Shark Week event, does not hinder its full potential in finding a particular set of movie lovers. CrypticRock gives The Shallows 5 out of 5 stars.