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The Shallows is this year’s surf-and-shark shocker with no deeper lesson from Blake Lively

1 out of 4 stars

The Shallows
Written by
Anthony Jaswinski
Directed by
Jaume Collet-Serra
Blake Lively

The poster slogan for this summer's surf-and-shark shocker reads, "What was once in the deep is now in the shallows." This isn't movie marketing mumbo-jumbo – the film's original title was In the Deep. The tagline as veiled truth, then.

And perhaps what might look to be simple aquatic horror from House of Wax director Jaume Collet-Serra is profound metaphor?

Blake Lively is a tanned-and-toned med student (disillusioned with her line of work after her mother dies of an illness for which modern medicine offers no cure) who takes off to a remote Mexican beach for waves and solace.

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She ends up bitten, bloody and bikinied on a rock. Guarding its dead-whale supper, a shark – a circling symbol of greed – sees her as a threat. At high tide she'll be flooded off safe ground – an allusion to oceans rising and the threat of global warming, perhaps.

Will she give up? Or will she fight? Ah, who cares. Sharknado isn't Shakespeare and The Shallows isn't deep. School's out, schlock's in – no lessons here. (14A) Brad Wheeler

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