The reviews I read for this film before I saw it said that it’s not Jaws. It’s not. But don’t let that deter you from seeing this movie. I’m a person who compares everything, but this movie definitely stands out. The location is beautiful, the shark is terrifying, and the way you’ll sit on the edge of your seat is great.
The film follows Nancy Adams, a med school dropout, who decides to go surf the same beach her late mother used to surf. The beach is Tijuana and is a secret spot that not many people know about. After heading out into the water to catch one more wave before the sunsets, Adams ends up getting bitten by a shark. She finds safety on rocks where she uses her medical skills to heal herself and plot how to survive.
I found out after seeing the movie that Lively did this movie after being inspired by her husband’s 2010 film, Buried. The Rodrigo Cortés film follows Ryan Reynolds trapped in a coffin with only a lighter and a cell phone. The whole entire movie takes place in a box. Reynolds filmed the movie in a little over two weeks and then went on vacation with his then wife Scarlett Johansson to try to get his sanity back. Lively was inspired by this film and the concept of it and wanted to take on a role that featured just herself. Granted, this film does have a few other characters, including a well versed seagull, but you get the point.
One of the coolest parts of this film is the hopelessness and helplessness Adam’s encounters. Although she is only 200 yards from shore and safety, she is injured, she is tired, and she is up against a shark that is bigger, faster, and more ferocious than her.
There are a lot of reasons to see this movie. The scenery is beautiful, so much so that I wish the movie were in 3D or IMAX. The technology used for the texting and video chat were original and cool. The first scene where we see the shark sets out his vendetta for Adams is terrifying. The supporting cast is fun and talented; including the seagull. And the medical accuracy, which I’m sure was supervised from an actual doctor, helped me learn a few things to do if I were ever in that situation.
Take a look at the trailer below. Then go see the movie in theaters this weekend.