Blake Lively fights sharks, seagulls in brutal 'Shallows' (Trailer)
Blake Lively fights sharks, seagulls in brutal 'Shallows' (Trailer)

Blake Lively fights sharks, seagulls in brutal ‘Shallows’ (Trailer)

A surfer (Blake Lively) exploring a hidden beach, finds herself stranded, with 200 yards and a hungry, man-eating shark in-between her and the shore.

That’s really all there is to it. Director Jaume Collet-Serra, who had great fun with the restrictive concept of the Liam Neeson airplane thriller Non-Stop, seems to have challenged himself to go even smaller this time, establishing the bare minimum of backstory – Nancy dropped out of med school after her mother’s illness and death – and isolating Lively for nearly the entire running time.

Aping 127 Hours, the movie opens by showing us all the things our hero will need and then watching her leave them behind. Nancy’s resources are quickly pared down to little more than a wetsuit jacket, some jewellery and whatever else is available to her in the water.

Anthony Jaswinski’s screenplay folds in just enough external business to keep the pace from growing monotonous, but the focus is always on Lively, who does a great job of juggling Nancy’s terror, exhaustion and smarts while Collet-Serra and his regular cinematographer Flavio Martínez Labiano transition smoothly from beautiful early moments to a darker, more threatening palette.

It’s not the next Jaws, but it’s taut and clever. That’ll do nicely.


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