|This is 10 months after she had her first kid.|
They should've called The Shallows something more descriptive like Girl vs Shark because that's literally what it is, not that it's a bad thing.
Blake Lively is a surfer chick heading for a secret beach in Mexico that her recently-deceased mother visited while pregnant with her. She's debating dropping out of med school because everyone ultimately ends up dying and someone read some Nietzsche. A scene of her talking via FaceTime to her father, Basil Exposition, basically exists to let us know she's a med student because she's a med student and it will sure be good that she's a med student in case she were to, you know, be in need of medical assistance for some reason.
Like being bitten by a gigantic Great White shark. Whoopsie!
Chomped on the thigh and stuck on an exposed finger of rock that's in danger of becoming submerged when the tide comes back in, she's royally screwed because the beach's isolation means there are few others to see she's in need and she's too far out to swim to shore while the shark is in the neighborhood, even if she wasn't leaking blood into the water.
It's a tidy little scenario and it works because Lively's character is resourceful and not a damsel. Did I mention she's a MEDICAL STUDENT which makes her survival plausible. Sure, the premise is goofy, no blonde hottie should be hitting secret Mexican beaches alone (her friend was too hung over to join her) from a basic safety standpoint, and she somehow manages to still look smoking hot at the end of ordeal baking on the rock in the sun without fresh water, but it's still a taut and tense flick. Worth watching.
Score: 7/10. Catch it on cable.
Don't watch this VFX breakdown until after seeing the movie in order to have your mind properly blown as to how it was filmed. (Hint: Life of Pi)