Movie Reviews: The Shallows




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     Columbia Pictures (87 min.)
     A woman surfing on a secluded beach finds herself in the feeding ground of a great white shark.
     Blake Lively, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo, Jose Manuel Trujillo, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

It’s a case of “Jaws” meets “Cast Away” in this survival drama, which finds a bikini clad Blake Lively battling a resilient shark on a Mexican beach.

With many far-fetched moments in this sea adventure, Lively plays Nancy Adams, a medical student from Texas seeking solace after the death of her mother. An avid surfer, she’s finally located a “secret” beach that was a special place for her mom. With her surfboard in tow, she sets out surfing, but finds herself stranded 200 yards from shore after she stumbles upon the feeding ground of a great white shark.

It’s the old age story of man vs. nature as the resourceful heroine does whatever she can to stay alive. After getting a nasty bite from the great white, she uses her necklace and earrings as a stitching device to sew up the gnarly gash. 80% of her role is non-talking (aside from the lines she has with a seagull who stays by her side throughout the ordeal), and is mostly comprised of physical feats of survival.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Lively’s likeable enough in the role, but unlike Tom Hank’s character in "Cast Away," it’s hard to feel an iota of sympathy for her character. She knows it’s dangerous to surf alone, but risks it, she’s also warned by a couple of local surfers Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo and Jose Manuel Trujillo Salas to leave at a certain time, but also ignores their wisdom.

Sure it’s entertaining enough, but there are a couple of eye rolling moments. How she manages to find cell service on this remote “secret” Mexican beach beats me, but I guess it makes sense since, as she tells the gentleman who drops off, she will call Uber to scoop her up after she’s done.

If you’re looking for mindless entertainment, like to see a female heroine and love the idea of seeing a sexy Lively swim around in a gorgeous bikini, then this is certainly up your alley.

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