The summer hasn’t been the best this year for movies and this is definitely not the shark movie that brings it to the forefront like Jaws once did, but it’s average fun. Blake Lively is serviceable in a role that allows her to be exactly what she is, cute in a bikini, and believable as an actress…most of the time. It’s a film that good moderate reviews from other critics and fans and I am no different. The Shallows follows it title in ways we wish it didn’t, but for horror fans and those watching Shark Week, you may find yourself having a reluctant good time at the theaters.
When trying to find a deeper plot than “Blake Lively vs a shark” you will regrettably find nothing further than that. This isn’t a layered nuanced shark thriller for the ages, but for it being a closed quarters style film that we see with notably better film like Cast Away, Gravity or 127 Hours, we get an 80 minute run-time that still may have been a tad too long. I’m not sure I even remember the main character’s name let alone her cliched backstory, but thankfully that doesn’t matter at all because what you see is what you get. I can at least applaud the film maker for making a well shot movie and not forcing into thinking it’s the next great shark movie and that alone gives this film a head start into a fair review. It knew what it was from the start and didn’t go beyond that until that damn third act.
Before I discuss what everyone has been talking about after seeing this movie, we need to address the CGI. The shark itself was alright I suppose, but I am taking that with a grain of salt because I don’t know if I’ve seen a CGI great white shark done well. What makes Jaws so incredible is it’s practical effects, but that’s just not the world we live in, nor would it have worked with the story the director was trying to tell. On the other hand, there are some pointless CGI dolphins in this movie that are so darn fake looking you would have thought they made this movie on a YouTube budget, but that might be disrespecting the YouTubers out there.
But finally, the ending you’ve all probably wondered about. DON’T WORRY! There are no spoilers in these reviews without warning and that won’t change here, but the ending really went away from the tone of the overall movie. It has to go one way or the other by the end, woman versus shark, and that’s not the problem. The problem was the execution of the ending that disappointed me so much. What could have been a fun, cult shark movie ended up as a film that will find it’s fame on FX or SyFy Channel in the future. Is is Sharknado level ridiculous, definitely not, but it’s still pretty goofy as a whole. With expectations tempered, I can see a lot of you being bored on a rainy day and seeing this movie and I wouldn’t blame you. It’d be a better choice than Independence Day that’s for sure.