#REVIEW: “THE SHALLOWS”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
The “Blockbuster” was defined by Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece, Jaws. Though The Shallows may not be a blockbuster in this current age of costumed heroes, it is nevertheless an excellent shark tale amidst a summer of exceptional Horror.
The Film stars Blake Lively as Nancy, a troubled young woman in search of a secret beach. After discovering it she preps her board for an afternoon of reckless abandon. The picturesque surf sequences that follow are capped by an unexpected run-in with nature. A shark, an ancient beast that still hunts humans when it feels the need to flex. Nancy is bitten by one, a Great White, what appears to be a female due to its large size. With the tide low Nancy reaches an exposed rock, but her survival is far from certain.
The Film is captivating in its ability to establish enough story in the opening moments that it can justifiably focus primarily on a singular struggle. Can she survive? Nancy is has the strength and motivation required to battle the impossible, what’s uncertain is can she? Can she survive a ruthless killer who has every advantage? That you must find out for yourself. Suffice it to say that it’s worth your while.
After three Action Films starring Liam Neeson, director Jaume Collet-Serra returns to Horror to helm this project. His long-time collaborator, cinematographer Flavio Martinez Labiano captures the experience beautifully. While the art and sound departments build a series of creatures to fill out the cast. There’s dolphins, a whale, and a seagull with quite the cameo. And of course there’s the shark herself who hungers after our heroine with fury. The performance our heroine gives is outstanding. Blake Lively is more than a vision, she’s believable as an athletic, educated, and adept individual. She’s a woman whose character was raised by a strong mother, and throughout the Film we watch her emulate her example. Though this may seem like a Movie to overlook easily, don’t. It’s grounded whilst still being fantastical in its feats, and it’s certain to excite crowds of all kinds.
Sony Pictures Canada release The Shallows, in theatres Friday, June 24, 2016.