Film Review by Fiore
When the desire of a production is to satisfy an agenda, in this case to show women can perform the same roles as men, the film suffers; mainly because audiences are savvy enough to realize they are seeing the same movie they’ve seen before with the main characters transposing genders. Such is the case with THE SHALLOWS.
One of the most successfully films of all time was JAWS. However, that movie involved three men, representing three different strata of society, thrown together in a microcosm universe to hunt the menace of a great white shark. But in today’s Hollywood mind set, anything a man can do, a woman can do better. Thus we have Blake Lively battling a similar shark in THE SHALLOWS, a movie guaranteed to be worse than the box office draws indicate.
Former Outtakes with Fiore producer Buzz Bastian saw THE SHALLOWS and quickly posted on Facebook his amazement and appreciation of Lively’s derriere. In fact, he suggested if said body part were put on a postage stamp, it could solve the USPS financial difficulties. Under Buzz’s guidance and tutelage, Outtakes with Fiore won numerous TV production awards and he is still a key figure in the industry. While Buzz may be onto something for solving the government’s delivery system’s economic woes, Lively’s seat has a little under a minute of camera spotlight and in a two-hour movie, that won’t justify the cost of a ticket.
Lively is Nancy, a young woman going through emotional trauma over the recent death of her mother. Rather than share her grief with her family, she opts to take off alone and explore rare regions of the world, including a beach her mom once visited in 1991. Naturally, during her attempt to tame the waves of this beach, she encounters a great white who seems hell bent on making her a meal, regardless of how many other poor souls it eats.
No gun, no boat and no Matt Hooper, she engages the animal with only the tide and a buoy. She takes her lumps, but remember, this is a strong, independent woman, so she is able to endure and survive better than Leo DiCaprio in THE REVENANT. The shark may be powerful, three tons of savage rage and muscle, but she is a woman, hear her roar, so naturally, the shark has no chance.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. The breaching scene
2. The nom nom nom of the buoy.
3. The drunk
The shark looks great. It should. Four decades after JAWS, one could expect the boys in the SFX department to come up with something better than Bruce. The sub plot of Nancy’s family and her rediscovery of her dad’s love is mundane and trite; poorly written pulp fiction trash. Screenwriter Anthony Jaswinski could have done this one in his sleep. Very little thought went into any story or character development. The ending is not only predictable, it’s also unbelievable.
Lively, regardless of the value put on her buttocks, does not equal the drama or talent of the trio of Shaw, Dreyfuss and Schneider. Maybe director Jaume Collet-Serra should have had three women trapped on that atoll when the tide went out.
THE GRADE FOR THE SHALLOWS = F