If there’s a shark movie out there, there’s a 99% chance I’m going to see it. In this instance, I wasn’t really all that excited about seeing this one. All I know about Blake Lively is that I think she’s married to Ryan Reynolds. The cousin who wanted to see this movie told me she was on Gossip Girl. That doesn’t make me feel better about the movie choice, but truth be told, I don’t think Gossip Girl was a show made with me as an audience member in mind.
There isn’t much to this movie, to be honest. The trailer pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Despite that, the movie still keeps everything tense and Lively, playing a med student, finds ways to both elude the shark and confound the audience for a solid hour and a half. Lively’s character decides to visit a beach her mother had been at a long time ago (the mother died of cancer years ago) and she needs to go to this place, and really without telling her father. Surfing might be dangerous without sharks involved, but of course, Lively stays out longer than she should, investigates a dead whale carcass and the chase, so to speak, is on.
This movie lacks in any subtext. A Vox review was on point when it stated the movie is: what you see is what you get. There is no big reveal or twist. The movie is just Blake Lively trying not to be eaten by the shark. Her survival skills are solid, her decision making and remembering warnings from others is far more questionable. Like any horror movie, Lively makes lots of costly mistakes and truthfully, she should have died, but thankfully, only brown people are eaten by the shark (locals to the area) – she is saved by another local, one who the audience meets in the first part of the movie. There is a lot of stunning visuals, the shark is fairly realistic. My favorite was Steven Seagull (get it?), who was quite apt at being a foil for Lively. Overall, this was a moderately entertaining movie. I did consume a massive amount of popcorn, and that’s always some sort of feat, right?