Posted Aug 17 2016

The Shallows -This Stuck On A Rock Movie Rocks

Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Blake Lively, Big Shark 

One thing you don’t want is a bloated shark movie. It needs to be as lean, and mean as the killing machine itself. So it’s a pleasant surprise to note just how well Collet-Serra handles this sea-bound chiller, given the excesses of his Neeson-vehicles Non-Stop, Unknown etc.

Here we have one woman, one surfboard, one seagull, one rock – and one hell of a big shark. The film benefits hugely from a great performance from Lively (no, we never thought we’d ever say that either) as the lone surfer, stranded and clinging on very literally for life. Whilst the film insists on giving her some tokenistic backstory, the shark itself is beautifully played as an existential force, merely moving forward, doing what it does. And, if towards the end the beast seems to be imbued with more of a “this time it’s personal” aspect, the director is quick not to make too much of this, merely using its implication to ramp up an already suitably ramped up piece of tension.

The Shallows is a lean, effective and very taught piece of filmmaking. And genuinely scary. A bit of a shark really.


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