Monday, December 5, 2016

The Shallows (2016)

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Starring: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, Brett Cullen, Sedona Legge, Angelo Jose Lozano Corzo, Jose Mabual Trujillo Salas

Nancy (Lively) is a former medical student, whose mother recently died, returning to the spot her mother visited when she was pregnant. A secluded surf beach in Mexico, Nancy literally has the place to herself apart from two locals who should know better - how naive they must all be. Taking one last ride, Nancy is attacked by a Great White who bites her leg. She takes refuge on a Whale carcass before heading to a protruding coral rock waiting for rescue.

Modern take on the Jaws theme, last seen seriously (not Sharknado style) in the 2010 Australian-made The Reef, takes vaguely the same premise and, after a boring first 20 minutes, eventually becomes a great cat-and-mouse-chase. What's slightly frustrating is that a 17 million dollar budget gets you this and Blake Lively when I'm pretty sure you could have made exactly the same film for less with an unknown and have exactly the same result and probably more success.

For director Collet-Serra, whose last three films have featured leading man Liam Neeson cashing in on the Taken series, this is his first horror film since 09's Orphan and is a marked improvement visually compared with that and his debut House of Wax, though we could probably put that down to the beautiful Australian location and the incredibly attractive Lively, who takes the 'James Franco in 127 Hours' treatment and actually makes a good job of this since she's essentially the only actor. Here's some trivia; producer Matti Leshem first feature comes after a successful producing role for the USA Rock Paper Scissors League Championship. Yes, if America wanted to milk more money from itself, they've had to make Rock Paper Scissors a professional sport!


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