One type of movie I'll never get tired of is shark survival horrors, and it feels like every year we get at least one decent one that just satisfies that annual need. What's complicated about these types of movies is the limitations that these movies have if you go the traditional route and, you know, don't get it five heads, throw it in a tornado or pin it against ancient dinosaurs for combat. With that in mind, I don't expect a top tier, award winning shark horror to ever really become a thing - I think people will just always compare the film to Jaws and say "well Jaws did it first." So when it comes to these movies, there's only one real question at the end of the horizon: was it fun? And if it was, then the film succeeded in its job. Officially out today - July 16th - GREAT WHITE plagues the deep waters where two great white sharks haunt, hunt, and prey on five tourists as they are out on a day trip and it becomes the fight for their life as they attempt to make it back to shore with all their limbs. This Australian flick was written by Michael Boughen and directed by Martin Wilson, and gives us the good ol' fashioned shark survival story - but was it fun?! Great White is actually a really fun watch - and even though it isn't doing anything we haven't seen before, it doesn't mean it makes for a shitty watch. Great White features f̶i̶v̶e̶ four totally likable and honestly enjoyable characters - I mean, charter pilot Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko) and his sidekick cock Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka) are seriously dudes I'd hang out with any fucking day. So as things take a turn for the worse, you'll find yourself actually hoping everyone survives til they make it to shore. And that is the fun in these types of movies. If you're alright with not seeing some mind-blowing storyline but don't mind trading that for some absolutely epic oceanfront views and some phenomenal, realistic as hell shark cgi, then Great White would make for an excellent rental this warm summer weekend! [Readers beware: this review may contain spoilers! Proceed with caution!]
Great White comes from executive producers of the 47 Meters Down series and tells the story of young couple Kaz (Katrina Bowden) and Charlie who run a charter plane service in Australia, where they take tourists to absolutely breathtaking locations along with their cook Benny to provide a day of adventure one will never forget. Tourists Joji (Tim Kano) and his wife Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi) hire the trio to take them to an isolated beach known as Hell's Reef, and one there, the most beautiful of all days turns into a nightmare many can't even begin to fathom. They end up finding a dead body who has been eaten from the waist down and they instantly knew what it was: a shark attack. In an attempt to try and find the dead man's girlfriend who might still be lost at sea somewhere, they somehow stumble upon the couples boat in the middle of the ocean, and once they land in the water to check things out, things go from bad to worse. The sharks begin their descent on the tourist group, haunting them with every paddle of the life raft, waiting for the right moment to strike. Will the five tourists successfully make it back to the shore with all their body parts?! Find out in... GREAT WHITE!
So let me just get this out of the way, since it's pretty much already a given since the movie is based in Australia: the landscapes, beaches, oceans, everything about this movie is fucking stunning. This film has to have some of the most legitimately beautiful views I've seen in a film in this last year, and honestly, you'll find yourself waiting for the next stellar zoomed out shot of the ocean and it's beautiful features you can see below it's crystal clear surface. Not to mention, it makes for some awesome shot to see our victims swimming in this vast ocean with no idea that there is a 5 meter monster lurking behind them underneath the surface. If you want a summery-feeling movie, this one's got you covered. Throw in the films magnificent casting choices who play some of the most naturally authentic feeling characters I've seen in a minute, and you've already got a nice basis for a great film. But let's not lie to ourselves and say this is what we came for... the real stars of the show are the two absolutely massive, brilliantly crafted and epically executed great white sharks who play an absolutely haunting role in the film. With films like these, audiences are always worried that they're only going to see quick glimpses of the beasts; but Great White ensures plenty of fantastically horrifying scenes with their antagonists - both in and out of water! There's more than one scene where you'll see the monsters up close and personal, with their razor sharp teeth and dark, evil eyes just waiting to rip you to shreds. The film more than delivers on ensuring audiences know the beasts intimately, and it only adds to the sick tension of the film.
When it comes to the story, like I said, it's nothing that's going to mindfuck you for the rest of the day or make you want to shout the movie from the mountaintops. It's a fun hour and a half, and it's got some moments where you may not be on the edge of your seat in thrills and chills, but you'll definitely have some anticipation of what's coming next. I think what it boils down to is you just want a great summer flick to wind down from your day at the sunny beach, Great White would make for an excellent choice. It's not overly serious or overly dramatic, and it's characters give you a great show with their connections and background. The real show here is in the face of the ocean dwelling beasts, and the film knocks that right out of the park. Just enjoy the film for what it is and don't worry about comparing it to Jaws, and I think you'll have plenty of fun with it - check it out!