The Shallows

Blake Lively versus a Great White shark. Tickets for two, please

Arriving in a summer that has so far delivered endless, turgid, bloated blockbusters, here at last comes a lean mean killing machine that will, as far as we’re concerned, be crowned Film of the Summer.

Blake Lively is the surf-girl grieving her recently departed mother, who goes to get away from it all to a remote beach in Mexico. She goes there to reconnect with life. What she finds, drumroll please… is death.

Principally, the problem with all that remoteness is that when she heads out to catch one last wave she finds herself attacked by a massive Great White shark (see the new trailer for the amazing “shadow-in-the-wave” visuals that the movie has lifted from the famously faked pictures on the Internet). She is left wounded, bleeding and stranded on a rock 200 yards out to sea. Can she make it back to the shore alive? She’s going to have to try, as the tide is coming in, the rock is sinking and that shark is still circling…

This is cinema in its purest, most exciting form. If, as the French master Jean-Luc Godard once observed, “all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”, then just imagine what you can do with a girl, a rock and a shark. Not least when that girl is Blake Lively.

According to recent reports out of Hollywood, Lively’s turn here is the kind of career-maker that only happens once. The star of Gossip Girl has been trying to break out for a while, but hasn’t – a great small part in The Town aside – been helped by her choices. Here she has landed a cracker, a one-hander (well, apart from the seagull who befriends her, like Wilson the basketball did Tom Hanks in Cast Away) in a movie that is being talked up as one of this year’s sleeper smashes.

The bottom line Blake Lively versus a Great White shark. Tickets for two, please.

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