Great White (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Great White (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Christina Dee on August 23rd, 2021 | Movie Review | Survival, Desolate, Shark

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Flight to a remote atoll turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane is destroyed in a freak accident and they are trapped on a raft, 100 miles from shore with man-eating sharks lurking beneath the surface.

Great White is brought to you by director Martin Wilson. It stars Katrina Bowden, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Aaron Jakubenko, Kimie Tsukakoshi, and Tatjana Marjanovic, among several others.

Take Your Final Breath

Great White Review

There are two kinds of horror movie lovers when it comes to shark attack movies. You’re either the kind of person who wouldn’t care if you never saw another one or the type who wouldn’t consider your summer complete without at least a couple on your watch list. You’d probably have to be the latter to get more than marginally excited about Great White, but if that’s the case, it just might be your cup of tea.

The film opens in much the way you’d probably expect it to – with a bleak prologue that shows a couple of yacht-goers unwittingly becoming dinner for bloodthirsty sharks. Not long after, we meet the five characters that are the focus of the remainder of the movie. Kaz (Bowden) and Charlie (Jakubenko) are a couple who run an adventure tourism business together. Also joining us are cook Benny (Tuhaka), as well as another couple looking to book a tour – Michelle (Tsukakoshi) and Joji (Tim Kano).

Unfortunately, business hasn’t been great for Kaz and Charlie. And it quickly becomes apparent that their money troubles are likely to get worse before they get better, as Kaz has recently found out she’s pregnant. That’s precisely why a last-minute booking from Michelle and Joji seems like such a godsend. However, once the group reaches Hell’s Reef via Charlie’s seaplane, it’s evident that things won’t go smoothly.

When they discover the mangled remains of a shark attack victim, the quintet decides to look for other survivors in the surrounding waters. But when their plane malfunctions and sinks to the bottom of the ocean, they find themselves stranded on an inflatable life raft in the middle of the sea, and that’s where they stay for the rest of the movie. And, of course, there’s a hungry shark out there somewhere who’ll eventually take an interest in the group. 

The rest of the film plays out about like you’d expect. The five people at the center of the plot alternate between paddling, engaging in various conversations, and expressing concern about the lingering presence of the shark. Every so often, you get to see the shark make a pass at the raft in an attempt to grab a quick meal, and you’ll wonder who (if anyone) will still be left alive when the credits roll. That’s about it, though.

To be fair, Great White definitely has its ducks in a row when it comes to all the shark attack film must-haves. You’ve got the looming presence of at least one hungry shark that looks halfway realistic thanks to decent special effects. The scenery is gorgeous, and the characters at the center of the story are attractive enough that you don’t necessarily mind watching them talk, talk, and talk some more (when they’re not paddling instead). Plus, thanks to cinematographer Tony O’Loughlan, you aren’t as aware as you could be that this is a low-budget film shot in a water tank, just like many films of its type.

Worth Watching?

With all that being said, Great White brings absolutely nothing new to the table, so don’t go into this expecting a groundbreaking viewing experience, because you won’t get one. If you’ve seen many movies about shark attacks or people stranded at sea, every last scene here will feel super familiar. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re the type who’s pretty much always down for another shark movie. This is undoubtedly well-made enough to keep you marginally entertained until the credits roll. Just don’t expect to be blown away.

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