Jaume Collet-Serra dircects Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada and a seagull in this surfer versus shark survival actioner.
Whenever this is a pure hottie versus shark potboiler (see also hottie versus coral, hottie versus jellyfish) The Shallows rocks – simple pleasures bombastically delivered. Collet-Sera isn’t a subtle director and this is all the better for it. The establishing chilling with the locals, surfing footage, and obligatory “get em out of the way early doors” bikini shots are handled with zim, while the threat out in the water is teased away at. Problem is the multi strand empowerment story bolted on… leaving Lively chatting with a seagull about her dead mum, her abandoned career choice as a doctor and whether she should spend more time with her family a little too often – cringe. It hobbles the non-shark attack and non-swim for your life sequences down to a halt. This should be B movie heaven but whenever it stretches for self importance it thrashes wildly out of it’s depth. Shame as in the set piece stakes The Shallows genuinely is the most proficient shark flick since Jaws.