I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast:
Blake Lively

   I enjoyed Blake Lively’s performance in her first top billed film, “Age of Adeline” and think she did very well in this film also even though the role called for her to be much more physical and display a different emotional range due to the context of the action.

   Here she plays a woman named Nancy that has come to a secluded beach, once frequented by her late mother, to surf and enjoy some alone time as she gathers herself to determine what direction she wants to take her life.

   

   Lively does an excellent job of conveying her need to experience this secluded beach and what it means to her to finally be where her late mother once was. Throughout the film, Lively’s performance is enthralling which speaks volumes of her ability to perform her craft as she is effectively the only character in the film with any real substance.


The Plot:

   As stated above, Nancy has come to a secluded beach (the name is never revealed as if there is some mystery that needs to be solved) to unwind the only way she knows how to…by surfing. With her mother having passed, the beach is all the more significant to her since her mother also surfed the waves in this secret spot.

   From the beginning Nancy is not alone as there are a pair of surfers already surfing there that seem to frequent the area daily. Nancy is a bit cautious at first but soon realizes that if there is some sort of threat, these local surfers are not it.

   After the locals leave for the day and Nancy opts to stay out in the water for more surfing, things begin to take a turn for the worst. Nancy notices something strange in the water and decides to investigate. That investigation reveals a dead whale…but more importantly the predator that killed the whale is still in the area and has it’s sights set on Nancy as the next meal.

   What follows next is not just a reiteration of a simple “Jaws-type” film, but a battle for survival that happens so close to shore that hope is never abandoned, but so fierce that tragedy is the only outcome that makes any sense…all happening on the edge of your seat!

The Verdict: 

   This film was better than I expected it to be as I thought it was only going to be some cheap remake of “Jaws.” However, the simple dynamic of this one woman versus this one shark in the shallows of a secluded cove made the film more personal and gave this small encounter a huge impact.

   The shark in the film looks completely real and raises the hairs on the back of your neck as it terrorizes Nancy with it’s simplistic need to feed and the instinct to do whatever it has to do to get that done. Kudos to the special effects crew here as the shark is all CGI and at no time does it feel like we are dealing with a fake shark.

   I like how the direction of the film keeps ramping p the suspense as the situation seems to keep deteriorating with no visible resolution in sight. Every temporary solution to the situation is made more temporary as the antagonist (shark) is absolutely relentless in it’s goal of making Nancy the cherry topping to his whale cake.

   That said….I’m not an expert on shark behavior, but it did seem to me that the shark was more single-minded than is believable possible (seeing as it had a whole whale to feed on just a few yards from Nancy), but it was easy to look past this for the thrill of the hunt, and fight for survival.

   This film was better than expected and kept me on the edge of my seat to easily soak three (3), out of five, cinnamon sticks in my cup of tea.

Rating: 3 / 5

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