The Shallows

 

I’m back. Well sort of. Well, you’re stuck with me for a short time at any rate. That’s okay. Is it okay? I think it’s okay. Are you okay? How are you? Did you get that thing done we were talking about last year? Is it larger than expected? I hops so. You have my support if you plan to enlarge it again.

Okay. Right. Let’s get on with this review. It’s been a while so bear with me.

Here we go…

I recently watched (30 minutes ago) the latest “killer shark” movie. For those that do not know, this film –The Shallows– it revolves around a female surfer who gets chased around the sea by a large shark. She has a bad time and gets bitten by the fish; ends up on dead whale; then a rock; and finally a buoy. A couple chaps come to her aid and get eaten by the fish. There’s blood and pain and emotion and all that sort of wank.

Sounds thrilling, yes?

Well it may be thrilling for some of you. But, if you are like me (A bastard) then you’ll get bored out of your mind within fifteen minutes or less. (This is not the spiritual successor to Jaws.)

Now there are numerous reasons why I did not enjoy this film. But above all was the leading lady/heroine, Nancy Adams (Blake Lively). Now I am not saying she (Blake) is a bad actress. She did a good job under the circumstances. Instead, I simply did not give a monkeys about her character. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that every time it looked as if the shark was going to end her life and put us out of our misery I almost cheered. Mind you, I was supporting the shark all the way through the film. Regardless of that, Nancy vexed me. I simply could not relate to her at all. She seemed mindless and boring. (Pretty but vacant.) She’s the sort of person I’d beat with my walking stick if she got in my way. The one “leading” character I did relate to was the seagull with a broken wing that is stranded on the rock with her. I felt for the bird. The bird had style and a real need for care. Nancy? Nancy would have made a better opening scene victim.

Now the SFX and such were not too shabby. But even though they threw a lot of money at this film the effects just did not grab me. I did not feel engaged by them. Nor did I feel the actors were. Now if you look at films like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea, something magical happens in those films between the actors and the physical props -you actually feel like there is a sense of danger with the prop sharks gnashing their teeth and wiggling their fins; they make the film more real. (You see this too in the Underworld films with the chaps in werewolf suits.) When we first see the shark in The Shallows it’s merely a shadow moving through the waves. That works. And works well. It gave me a few tingles. It was stealthy and spooky. You did not know where it would pop out of next. Then you see the fish in its entirety and you lose its presence. It just becomes a lump of bad CGI fish. (Less is more people).

There are a few other points I could make. But I do not want to ruin this film for you.

Overall, The Shallows, is a film you should watch if you’re stoned or enjoy mind numbing entertainment. If you want something more powerful and fishy, watch Jaws.

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