Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Shallows ... Looking Lively

THE Shallows is light on length and entertainment. Blake Lively's bikini bod is there for us to ogle. Her
best pal while stranded on a rocky outcrop is Steven Seagull; the bird provides her with someone to talk to.
     The film has scary moments, like when the humongous shark jumps out out of the clear blue sea and swallows a Mexican with great relish. The shark's athletic prowess notwithstanding, I couldn't figure out why it didn't just jump out of the water again and at least nudge our hapless bikini bod victim into the sea.

   Lively's background history is lame. She plays Texan Nancy Adams, who's arriving at a secluded and unnamed Mexican surfers' paradise, which her recently departed mum was photographed at in 1991. Her mum's death has hit her hard and she has dropped out of medical school to go off the grid, much to the chagrin of her dad back home.
  She's drifting in her life, and it's this film's duty to shake her out of her doldrums and get her to focus on life again.
    And what better way to do that than get her stranded on a rocky outcrop while surfing and then put a big white shark with great-looking teeth circling her and licking its lips at the thought of chomping down on the buxom beauty.
   Astute viewers know that a character's background often proves useful in films as the character can
Looking Lively in a bikini. 
conjure up something to save the day. In this case, Nancy uses her medical knowledge to patch herself up after a brief encounter with the shark left a deep tear in her thigh. She even uses her knowledge to fix the seagull's dislocated shoulder. This is to show what a great gal Texans are.
   There's a lot of blood in the film, but I would hesitate to call it a violent film. The victims are either seen chomped down from afar or dragged into the sea. One victim is seen crawling onto the beach with the upper part of his body separated from the lower part. How he survived that painful separation and still got on the beach is beyond belief.
   Lively does a competent job showing fear, intelligence and the ability to become MacGyver. Viewers can accept the part about her using her medical skills and also timing how long it takes for the shark to make a big circle around her.
Even when the chips are down, and the screenplay putting many obstacles in her way, she gets her chin up and perseveres.
Breaking the waves. 
  Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown and Non-Stop) shows off Lively's body and a woman's desire to stay alive. His heroine is tough, beautiful and will do anything it takes to survive.
  Viewers, however, may just wonder why the shark would hang around for the bikini bod after being satiated with eating a whale and three Mexicans.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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