Bikini Blake Lively battles killer shark in The Shallows

MOVIE REVIEW: The Shallows (2016)

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Summer is here and it's time to get too scared to go back into the water. Ever since the little Kintner boy bit it (Narf) back in 1975, horror fans have loved the shark. But other than a couple of okay films (Jaws 2, Deep Blue Sea), it's mostly been cheap scifi movies, cheesy scifi movies, or the Discovery Channel. The films have run the gamut from mediocre like Bait and Shark Week) to bad Sharknado (I don’t care if you liked it, it was still bad!) to horribly bad like Sand Shark. But now it's time to get serious with the shark movie, and The Shallows does just that.

The Shallows stars the ultra lovely Mrs. Deadpool, Blake Lively. Lively stars as Nancy, a surfer girl in search of a private beach that her mom visited while she was pregnant with her. Her quest takes her to Mexico, where she does find the beach, but also finds she has invaded the feeding ground of a hungry and pissed off shark. Nancy ends up trapped, on a small island that is destined to be eaten by the tide, as the shark circles. She's hurt, and alone, a mere 200 yards from safety. It takes all of her skill to survive, both the shark and the elements, until she can find a way out.

Here's to swimmin with bowlegged wimmin in The Shallows

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged wimmin in The Shallows.

Early on Lively shows she is more than a pretty face (and tush) by hanging with the male surfers wave after wave. We find out she is a medical student facing a crisis of faith and with no direction. Her medical skills come in handy, and she's driven by the spirit of her mother to fight on even when there is no hope.

Blake Lively in The Shallows

Buoy, does she take a risk being in the water with a shark.

The Shallows develops slowly, but I never found myself bored or losing interest. While mini jaws does take a while to show up, there are some great surfing scenes and, well Blake Lively, both of which are fun to watch. After the shark does show up, The Shallows becomes survival horror. Nancy is attacked, injured, and finds herself trapped, along with a wounded seagull on a small crop of rock. She's wounded and stuck as the tide goes out, and then as she weakens, the tide starts back in.

We're gonna need a bigger rock

We're gonna need a bigger rock.

The underwater scenes are gorgeous. Even before the shark attack, the below surface is expertly filmed and uses color brilliantly. Our first indicator that something is wrong is the slow addition of red to the water. A faint red that grows swiftly as we realize the shark has taken a decent bite.

Then there is the final battle between woman and shark. It's impressive and you're always in doubt of the outcome up to the very end. There are some scenes involving the buoy that will hearken back to Jaws and Quint's sinking boat.

We're gonna need a bigger buoy in The Shallows

We're gonna need a bigger buoy in The Shallows.

There wasn't a lot of gore, but quite a bit of blood. Most of the shark kills were just out of sight, with only one real jump scare attack. The Shallows is more about building the tension and the isolation of our heroine than a gotcha.

Bikini Blake Lively battles killer shark in The Shallows

Bikini Blake Lively battles killer shark in The Shallows.

I really loved The Shallows. It's easily the best shark movie since Jaws. It pays homage to the Jaws kind of shark movies, but it's its own film. The only thing I had any complaint about was a scene with the shark and a flare gun. The effects just didn't look real enough, but that's a small, tiny complaint. The Shallows is a classic film of man against nature, and just as much man (woman) against herself. Nancy has to overcome her own demons and find her will to survive before she can defeat the demon of the sea. Final thoughts, she didn't need a bigger boat, she didn't look bow legged when she was swimming. I give The Shallows 9 stars and a half chewed Quint out of 10.

Deadpool thumbs up Blake Lively

I'm hittin' that.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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