Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Shallows (2016)

I don’t own this trailer.
This review won’t be long or detailed as the movie is fine and I don’t have much to say on it. I just want to give my opinion.
  • Cast and characters. There’s really only one character in this film. Sure there are others but it’s really a one woman show.
    • Blake Lively as Nancy. Lively is the main character, she is the only character. She goes to a special beach where her mother used to surf, in Mexico I think, because she wants to be closer to her mother and spend some time alone to think. Of course, a shark happens to be in this water and she is attacked and she spends her injured time on a rock that’s just about the size of her own body. Shore is just out of reach and she would have to swim in order to get there but the shark is circling her rock and she has to survive.
      • I think Lively plays the part well. First of all, she’s beautiful and I hate her (not really), she does well to hold the fear and tension the character has to maintain throughout the movie, whether she will live or die. When she is feeling out of luck, she makes you feel emotional for her, you want her to make it. Unless you’re just a glutton for people dying in movies. Blake Lively holds her own well in this film.
  • The look. This movie is very beautiful, I was telling my friend that I thought the water was gorgeous, the way the camera would follow Nancy under the water in order for us to experience what she does in going under the waves to surf. Oh man, so beautiful. We never learn the actual name of the beach which I wish we did so I could look it up, but the water is so blue, the land beneath the water is seen so clearly and the waves, wow. It might also be stylized due to the color palette of the movie but it still looks great. Of course Blake Lively fits right in with her bikini body lol.
  • The Shark. I’m not a “thriller movie” watcher generally, this was a screening so why not. But sharks terrify me and I’m sure that not all sharks are calculating like this one was, but because it was, it made me so scared for her and for my nerves. The design of the shark was very well done.
  • The Bird. There is a seagull in this film who is on the rock with Blake Lively and I have never wanted to have a seagull for a pet as much as I wanted that one. It served as humor in certain parts because there are parts where the movie gets emotionally heavy that the bird helps level that out. I loved the bird.
  • The Suspense. Now, I’m not a person who usually sees movies like this so it may just be me, haha but man, I watched a lot of this through my fingers mainly because I don’t want jump scares or to see a shark tear people apart. But the buildup to moments, or to “fake out” moments, were done so well that I tried to prepare but still freaked out. But again, this could just be me not being one for movies like this even if they aren’t necessarily “scary”.
  • The story. Now, don’t let this turn you off but it’s a cliche story. The backstory isn’t a strong part of the film but it’s often referenced but I don’t think it was strong enough for it be a driving point. The movie isn’t very long, and the beginning takes a minute to get the movie on it’s feet so if it would have spent time building up her backstory, or the emotional weight that we’re supposed to feel for her due to her backstory then it’d be different. It’d probably be stronger but that whole part was just… throw away.
  • The other characters/actors. There is not a lot of them, outside of the guy she meets at the beginning, they were all pretty weak. It may have been like that for us to be more connected to Blake Lively’s character but meh, her family wasn’t interesting, honestly they didn’t have to be in it at all and the affect probably would have been the same. The two other surfers she meets were pretty dumb and oblivious that anything that happens to them, you just don’t care.
  • The Climax with the Shark. Now, without spoiling anything, the climax itself was really cool and tension filled but towards the end of it, something happened, that was smart on Nancy’s part but kind of dumb at the same time. For such a smart shark… you’ll get the idea if you decide to see the movie.
  • Jump Scares/Slow building. Now, the suspense and tension works just fine however, it’s the amount of jump scares that happen before it starts getting irritating. I still jumped but I was sick of jumping for no reason. It also starts off really slow, the first 30 minutes starts off slow enough to the point that the viewers just want the action to start already! Probably has to deal with a lot of random slow motion and close ups on her face and mouth lol.
Overall, The Shallows was a movie that did it’s job in entertaining the audience for the most part. The heroine of the movie is relatable enough that you want her to survive and win. The action was tension filled and suspenseful that I sat curled in my seat waiting for it all during those scenes. Blake Lively holds her own well as she is the only actor that really matters in this film, the Shark was also done well too in terms of design and the movie itself was beautiful. It also had it’s problems in a emotionally weak story, there were silly elements that dealt with the shark that probably should have been looked at once more in order to be more cohesive, the other characters could have been removed as they were unimportant and it also takes a minute before getting on it’s feet.
It’s fun, entertaining, and interesting, if you like shark movies then you should like this one. If you like thrillers then go ahead and deal with this one, it’s fine.
Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars.

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