Movie Review: The gimmicky survival thriller The Shallows is out of its depth

Dappled by glints of Capri Sun light, the blue waves of a secluded Mexican beach beckon the young and hardbodied to surf and fall prey to a humongous CGI shark in The Shallows, a fitfully entertaining mix of offscreen gore and Maxim-esque T&A. Med student Nancy (Blake Lively) goes out surfing alone, only to have the shark take a bite out of her thigh. Trapped on an outcrop of rock a few hundred yards from shore, she is helpless to watch as surfers and would-be beach thieves also get chomped, the wound on her leg growing more and more fetid. Hamstrung by a PG-13 rating, the movie’s juxtaposition of lithe and gangrenous bodies and nature at its most picture-perfect and disgusting (see: the rotting humpback whale carcass that first hints at danger) squirms too much to come across as a true nightmare scenario.

Instead The Shallows finds its …

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