Man vs. Nature, actually woman vs. nature, nature in this case being one very large, very mean, and very hungry shark who likes to swim around in shallow water devouring surfers like they were Scooby snacks. The cinematography early in the film was truly breathtaking. The director did a fantastic job of capturing the art of surfing in all it’s slow motion glory, which also added to the building of suspense. Suspense continues to build, as the audience is left with the feeling we know something that our limited cast does not know, namely that a huge finned predator lurks just below them. The effect of looking up at people on their boards from underwater gives, us, the audience, the viewpoint of the beast itself. I like the fact that this story unfolds with a smaller cast, which only gets more limited as the large black mass in the water circles around the injured girl in the bikini, who finds herself stranded on a small rock awaiting rescue attempts, that inevitably end up with the rescuers becoming chum for the monstrosity. Too truly get the most out of this film, one must resist the temptation to become overly critical about the details and look at it as an artistic expression of a shark story–it’s not a documentary–but some of the discrepancies can be difficult to ignore. Overall it’s pretty well done, and the shark is terrifying, at least until it start’s doing some things that just don’t seem plausible, but fortunately most of that behavior is towards the end. The plot has a few twist, but mostly it’s girl trying not to end up like a Starburst chewable, or gummy worm. Mostly I liked it, but for me some of the ridiculousness of what the shark does and how he ends up was slightly difficult to get past, it felt sort of like they were running out money, or lost a backer for the film, and had to hurry up and finish it before high tide rolled in. I guess all fish tales have to end somewhere, and this one ended up in bizarro world. Starts strong, finishes a little fishy. I am not giving it any amount of anything, no stars, no surfing Scooby snacks, no drunk natives, no anything; just go see it if you want to, it’s not too long, and it’s not half bad…unless your the drunk native…then for you…it’s really bad…like the shark bit me in half bad. Ouch! I hate when that happens. Until next time…
The Smyth has Spoken.
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