“I was in LA this past week! It was only semi-vacation, since the primary goal was to get things lined up for the big move. On my last day, I was able to head down to Santa Monica for a little fun before my red eye flight to Boston. After lunch at Bubba Gump (my favorite!) and an hour spent playing that Wizard of Oz game at the arcade on the pier, I wandered back to the promenade for a movie. I realized that this choice of film would be about as close to the beach as I was gonna get this trip, even if it was merely two blocks away from my location.
The Shallows is pretty simple. Blake Lively is surfing on a secluded beach in Mexico, when she’s attacked by a shark and stranded on a rock just a little too far away from shore. It seemed too simple to me, so I initially avoided it. But the buzz was pretty good (far far better than I’d anticipated) and I do love a good thriller, so I figured I’d give it a chance. Was it worth it? Eh, debatable. The suspense was there, but so was the simplicity.
The thing that bothered me most though was the great divide between how equally smart and stupid Lively’s character was. On the one hand, she was quite the survivalist. Her character’s med school skills helped her Macgyver her way through the situation. On the other, how could you possibly think it was a good idea to go out there all by yourself, and to stay in the water to catch one more wave after the only other people around left. I mean, I know we wouldn’t have had a movie otherwise, but c’mon, sharks or no sharks, it’s not a good idea to surf by yourself in a foreign country.
So it’s no Jaws (though it borrowed some of its minimalist approach to amp up the scares), but it was okay enough. Probably not worth prioritizing during a crowded summer movie season though
The Shallows – \m/ \m/ \n”