Nancy (Blake Lively) is pretty young medical student having a crossroads moment heads back to a remote beach in Mexico significant to her and her family, trying to clear her head and find some much needed perspective.
With no one around but a few surfers and the occasional local, Nancy feels confident enough to leave her few belongings on the shore before heading out into the surf. It is a beautiful day in an idyllic place, safe and free from distraction.
But there are rarely films released about pleasant event-free days.
A wipeout that leaves Nancy with a nasty gash on her leg at tracks unwanted attention, apparently sufficient to convince a shark to leave the whale carcass from across the bay in order to menace the tiny defenceless woman for the next twelve odd hours.
Stranded, wounded and a hundred yards offshore, Nancy must monitor her injuries and maintain her mental state, as the large fish keeps a menacing perimeter on all sides, occasionally pausing to illustrate its deadly attributes upon anyone unfortunate enough to stray into its territory.
While the actions of the shark end up defying every nature documentary that I have ever seen about sharks, without the escalating aggression the film has no reason to exist.
Besides, this isn’t a film that exists in reality, but a stylised human vs nature showdown, with developments entertaining enough to permit our forgiveness; like a small child telling us a fanciful story in an animated way.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. Treading water, like a film happy to stay in The Shallows.