The Shallows – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 74% (Critics) / 69% (Audience)
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra
Written By: Anthony Jaswinski
Starring: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen
Studio: Ombra Films
Synopsis: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. – (Source)


The Good:
Visually this movie is breathtaking. The cinematographer (Flavio Martínez Labiano) deserves much praise and has me now eager to check out more of his work moving forward because what he did in THE SHALLOWS is so much more interesting to the eye than what he did as the cinematographer on the Liam Neeson movie NON-STOP. Just the underwater scenes alone are enough to knock your socks off.
And director Jaume Collet-Serra does a nifty job ramping up the tension even in scenes that the movie’s trailer gave away. Despite knowing that a character was about to become shark food I was still totally pulled into those scenes.
And I was also pleasantly surprised by Blake Lively. As someone who really never thought of her as more than a blandly pretty mannequin, I was impressed at her acting in this film. It was especially impressive just because she spent so much time either acting with no one or with the most charismatic seagull in the world.

The Bad:
This movie is, on its face, just about the silliest thing ever. It goes way past the pushing the edge of ridiculousness line that the original JAWS had at its core and even makes the outright stupidity of JAWS 3: THE REVENGE look normal. I mean this angry ass shark was acting like Blake Lively did something personally offensive to it and was hellbent on getting some payback.

The Ugly:
The way Lively’s character finished off her toothy nemesis has to be one of the most ridiculous scenes I have seen in a movie in years. Everything about it was just unbelievable and that is saying something since I had checked my suspension of disbelief at the concession stand before even sitting down in the theater to watch THE SHALLOWS.

Final Verdict: A beautifully shot movie that delivers a good performance by Blake Lively and some really tense moments all wrapped around a patently goofy premise. But goofiness aside, THE SHALLOWS does deliver a lot of entertainment in its 90 minutes and is well worth the trip to the movie theater.

Grade: B

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