The Shallows tells the story of surfer Nancy who is a mere 200 yards from shore who is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
Okay, this film doesn’t look like the most appealing thing and to be honest, the only reason why I watched this film or even knew anything about it was because I knew people who worked on it. Despite being a pretty face, Blake Lively cannot act so putting her in a film by herself was probably one of the worst decisions that could’ve been made but the film itself was in a whole other category. It’s unrealistic and while aspects of the film that made you feel uncomfortable with some of the physical horror could be considered a good thing, it ended there. The gore was about the only thing going for it yet it there’s always a limit on which this can be relied on.
Lively’s “humour” in this film was in fact humourless and the only reason why it seemed she was hired for this film was her apparent good looks. Everything that was to be said about her character was spoken through dialogue, often coming across in a contrived manner. It leaned towards the significantly needing improvement aspects as it wasn’t entirely great, often strained and painful at times.
No one should be surprised this film didn’t make it to the big screen, and if it did, made a short run at that. It looks and feels like a television film, nothing like other shark films like that of the classic Jaws or even indie hit, Open Water, which proved to be more compelling with it’s unknown cast and low quality cinematography. Though the surfing and underwater sequencescould be considered something that was well done, it was like this was trying to make up for the fact that Lively is clearly not a surfer and badly attempting to splice her body double in as well as making up for a screenplay that was almost insulting in more ways than one, proving to be nothing more than a badly made genre piece where it’s bogged down to a simplistic and uninteresting survival piece of getting off the rock and not dying in the process. The film as a whole lacked genuine suspense that could be sustained throughout the piece. Questions posed included face-timing with an almost perfect internet connection in the middle of nowhere and a location that is definitely not Mexico (and I know this for a fact because I lived in Queensland, Australia for five years, which is where The Shallows was filmed). Even though we may take certain liberties when watching a film, the filmmakers didn’t have to think the audience was so lacking. In light of this, however, I don’t think my age group was it’s target audience as it might be something for an audience between sixteen to twenty-one.
”Shallow” is one word to describe this film though unconvincing, artless, or just plain unpleasant are just a few other words to honestly describe this film. The one question that really shot through my mind throughout this film was, what was really the point of it? I really wanted to like it but the artistic team behind it prevented me from doing so in every way.