(director: Jaume Collet-Serra; screenwriter: Anthony Jaswinski; cinematographer: Flavio Labiano; editor: Joel Negron; music: Marco Beltrami; cast: Blake Lively (Nancy Adams), Óscar Jaenada (Carlos), Sedona Legge (Chloe, sister), Brett Cullen (Father); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Lynn Harris/Matti Leshem; Ombra Films (A Columbia Pictures release); 2016)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jaume Collet-Serra(“Non-Stop“/”Run All Night”) directs a well-photographed, well-crafted and a well-acted inspirational survival film. The lean script is by Anthony Jaswinski. It has a likable heroine battle off a shark attack. If you get off on a throwaway summer movie with only a slight story and with a few digital shark attack thrills, this shallow thriller should satisfy.Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) is a feisty athletic Texas blonde gal, on a surfing vacation in Mexico from her medical studies. She wants to get some quiet time to think about whether or not she should quit medical school. She goes to a remote secret beach that was special to her late mother. While paddling into waves, in shallow water, without warning a great white shark emerges killing a whale and severely gashing her leg. Isabella Nichols acts as her surf double After stopping the bleeding by using parts of her bikini, Nancy finds a jagged rock, some 200 yards off shore, to escape the shark. But that rock gets covered at high tide. She is hoping someone will come to the beach and call for help, instead one piggish drunken slob robs her stranded backpack on the beach that contained her cell phone and runs off. Two local surfers, one wearing a GoPro camera on a helmet, try rescuing her but are eaten by the shark. While awaiting help, Nancy gives medical treatment to a wounded white seagull keeping her company on the rock. The action is the thing here, and of Nancy’s courage to persevere (she’s no quitter). The heroine is given props for her family loyalty and problem-solving skills. But it was her good fortune to be pulled ashore in time by the nice-guy local Carlos (Óscar Jaenada). There just wasn’t enough of a story to get me excited.
REVIEWED ON 6/25/2016 GRADE: C+