Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Let’s be honest here… Shark movies these last few years have just been bad. They’ve moved from thrilling/terrifying to thrilling but with a hint of nomable cheese to a complete mental abortion… Filled with unnomable cheese. However, here swims The Shallows along to FINally (HA!) begin the slow process of restoring the shark name to its former glory with gnashing ferocity.
Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) is struggling with medical school, feeling lost and hopeless after her mother tragically dies from cancer, so to recharge and find herself again, she decides to travel to a secret beach somewhere in Mexico — a beach her surfer mother found and loved in her youth, planning to surf the same gnarly waves her mom once did, bruh.
Things go fine for a while, with Nancy deciding to brave this super secret beach which very few people know about (I mean, what could possibly go wrong), soaking up some sun, catching some hella dope waves — however, when she comes across a whale carcass not too far from the shore, that’s when the proverbial poop hits the proverbial fan as she discovers she has encroached on the feeding ground of a pissed-off great white.
Nancy, being a puny human on essentially some floating plastic and foam, barely manages to survive the initial attack of nature’s perfect killing machine and finds herself stranded 200 yards from shore on a tiny piece of rock, injured, alone and being hunted by the wolverine of the shark world (seriously, this thing is so. Pissed. Off). But Nancy is quite the brave little toaster, so instead of giving in *cough*Open Water*cough*, she decides to fight for her survival in the best woman vs. Shark story since… Uhm… Deep Blue Sea, I guess.
The premise might seem daft and many people doubted the movie would be any good — but haters gonna hate, because The Shallows works. And it works well. The writers were actually fairly ingenious in the writing, and although yes, it’s it’s girl trapped on a rock smaller than the door Rose didn’t want Jack to get on (because she a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man), the way that the tension is built, held and expanded upon is downright impressive, with the shark not being given too much screentime, but the time it gets, it uses perfectly as it shows that it is a legitimate, terrifying threat each time.
Props to Blake Lively who carries the film well and pulls off a fairly powerful performance here, even with what little she has to work on — but I’m not going to lie, the real star of the movie is Steven Seagull — masterfully played by Sullivan “Sully” Seagull. Who is now officially my utmost favourite actor. Ever. I love that little guy.
It’s hard to talk about this movie without spoilers, but for the doubters, let it be known that The Shallows is a great movie that looks good, brings the scares, the thrills, the suspense and even the LOLs in a pretty-looking package — and overall, honestly defied my expectations and most likely, will defy yours as well… But if anything, see it for Steven Seagull… #StevenSeagull4BestActor2017