Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Shallows (2016)

IMDb plot summary: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Blake Lively.

(Spoilers ahead.)

This is exactly what I wanted it to be: a tight, interesting shark thriller. I've never thought of Blake Lively as much of an actress, but she does a decent job holding this movie together, and, even more importantly, her character is written to be smart. She tries everything she can to improve her situation, and I really like how she is the one who defeats the shark at the end, rather than someone swinging in to rescue her at the last minute. The moments that are most interesting here are the ones told off screen. I found the deaths of everyone who she enlisted as a helper pretty terrifying, and the movie made a smart choice to not go too overboard with the shark. Because they had been pretty chill with the shark earlier, I was able to get on board with the big dramatic "SHARK EATS A BUOY!" ending which felt, yes, a little silly, but it worked to resolve that tension. This movie is a pretty solid one-person-one-location, even if it doesn't quite sit on the same plane as something like, say, 127 Hours.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Shallows > Following
The Shallows < Pretty Woman
The Shallows < Elf
The Shallows > Hitchcock
The Shallows > Nine Lives
The Shallows > The Prestige
The Shallows > Strictly Ballroom
The Shallows > Men in Black
The Shallows > Yellowbeard
The Shallows > The Diary of Anne Frank (2009)
The Shallows > Adama

Final spot: #953 out of 2540.

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