Review: The Shallows, B-
Rated PG-13, 87 minutes
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water comes the new shark thriller "The Shallows" to take a bite out of your summer movie-going experience. It's hardly anything new for the genre, but it moves swiftly and has enough tense moments to keep you on edge. A young pro surfer and med student named Nancy Adams (Blake Lively), is surfing at a secluded beach called "Paradise" when she becomes stranded on a giant rock 200 yards away from shore after an enormous great white shark attacks her. Now she has to find a way to get safely back to shore without getting attacked by the shark again, proving the ultimate contest of wills. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the director behind such films as "Orphan" and "Non-Stop," the taut, entertaining thriller "The Shallows" is a girl-vs-shark that pulls few surprises, including that itsy bitsy bathing suit that the lovely, fit Lively wears in the film, the primary reason that some moviegoers may want to see the movie. "The Shallows" is an apt name for a movie that skims the surface in terms of story and characters, and there are a few too many contrivances - the med student angle and a GoPro camera are among them - but it does have a nice, antsy nervousness to it not to mention an enormous, realistic shark and a quick running time, as if the aforementioned skimpy bathing suit is not enough. Stripped down, efficient and often very intense, "The Shallows" is an enjoyable, somewhat forgettable shark movie that won't have you craving seafood anytime soon. By the way, the most memorable character is not the girl or the shark, but a bird named Steven Seagull who befriends Lively's character and proves as tough as she is.