There’s no doubt from the trailers that Columbia Pictures is trying to draw comparisons to Universal Pictures’ classic shark thriller Jaws. My advice – don’t go in comparing the two and you won’t be disappointed.
The film doesn’t try to be something it’s not. Expect some good summer fun and you won’t leave feeling disappointed. It’s clear that Blake liked the script for the opportunity to show off her acting chops. She gets a chance to run the gamut of emotions in this film and handles it well.
It’s no secret the camera loves Blake’s post-baby body in this film and the director’s not shy with the number of angles from which he cares to show her to us.
Director Jaume Collett-Serra (Non-Stop, Unknown, Orphan) does employ the eyes of Cinematographer Flavio Martinez-Labiano with whom he has worked before (Non-Stop, Unknown) and you’re in good hands because of it.
This film has some of the best underwater photography I’ve seen. Not only is it purposeful and effective, but it’s clear and beautiful. When you film at a secret beach referred to as Paradise, even gruesome can be eye candy as both director and cinematographer work together to prove.
The film has some predictable moments, but the soundtrack is ‘patient’ and builds the tension. There is a clear use of silence and sound here that will both provide periodic relief and give you some ‘oh shit!’ moments.
There were a couple of moments in the film where I noticed some homage being paid to other film classics, but without sacrificing it’s own identity.
I’ve been a fan of shark movies, but I’ve been disappointed for decades. The Shallows trailer drew me to it – to give it a shot – the bright colors, Blake’s willingness to leave the safety zone with the film choice, go with no makeup, and play the vulnerable heroine.
The rest of the cast are very likable. You may remember Óscar Jaenada from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Here, he brings real warmth and char to his character. The dialogue is real, the humor honest, and I never felt like I was being condescended to.
The Shallows is timely, just in time for summer – sun, surf, skin,scares, and some stomach turning scenes. Try not to look away. It will make it difficult for some to return to the water.