Want some fresh shark movie? Well, it doesn’t get any fresher than this, as this is the more recent movie we’ll spotlight during this year’s Shark Month, and was released just last month, both via theatrical releases in some countries, and video on demand.
Personally, i discovered it among the new releases on DVD while browsing Amazon UK, was pretty cheap, so i ordered it asap. It helped being promoted as “from the executive producers of 47 Meters Down series”. Even if it’s a half-truth, as both Jack Christian and Christopher Figg DON’T appear listed as “executive producers” in 47 Meters Down or 47 Meters Down Uncaged, at least on IMDB.
I understand “from one of the producers of Dog Soldiers” wasn’t gonna fly, but why don’t actually sell it as “from the producers of Black Water: Abyss”, where they did work as executive producers. It does come from Altitude, one of the main companies also behind the 47 Meters Down series, so..
This is an australian production, with – fittingly so – australian actors (partly filmed off of Brisbane’s coast, to boot), and it’s directed by Martin Wilson, pretty much as his debut full lenght feature, as – according to IMDB – he directed two shorts and a TV movie called “Roll”.
The plot sees two romantically involved seaplane operators get hired to do a tour of the nearby reef (know as Devil’s Reef) for a couple. After landing, they find a corpse on the shore bearing signs of a shark attack. They report it, but discover there might a survivor, and after searching the area, the seaplane gets attacked by a very big shark, forcing the group to try and survive on a raft with unfavorable currents, limited supplies, the shark chasing them and no reliable help in sight.
Also, according to some dunces on IMDB, the movie has a tacked on “climate change’s fault” message…. reality is, the main seaplane guy happens to suggest, in a – single – line that the shark might be there at a time when it really shouldn’t due rising temperatures messing with his habits.
Talking about the actual movie… Great White it’s kind of a dud. The characters are kinda annoyed and annoying, there is effort to make you care a bit about them, but it doesn’t quite work, as the script just stuffs them with some emotional baggage on the quick, and they still come off as kinda akward and not very likeable.
So at the end of the day you won’t really care too much to see them survive. You care a bit, but not enough to properly make the movie work as it could.
Leaving aside some ridiculous stuff (like the context of finding the corpse of the guy, implying that he did swim legless while being chased by a shark and somehow crawled to die on land), most of the conflict comes off as utterly random, like the japanese boyfriend, a bitchy, intolerant and insufferable asshole, also vehemently racist toward the cabin boy-cook, out of nowhere.
Also, there’s no real tension to the situation, as the plot moves a bit too fast to create some, and there’s no decent atmosphere, so you’ll never even feel that things might suddendly turn even uglier, the direction is not good enough for that, and hardly even feels like it cares to create a foreboding sense of danger, just relying on the basic scenario in itself. Which it’s not enough.
On the upside, it’s not a slog, at all, the action sequences in third act are the best thing in the movie, the acting is pretty decent, but it’s not enough to make one overlook its other shortcomings, i feel.
It’s a pretty looking film, the effects are quite well done, the shark is fairly good looking for this level of production, don’t expect a quality of CG like the one seen in The Shallows or The Meg, but i’d say it’s better than it was in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.
A middling result, overall. Worth a watch and professionally put together very well, but forgettable, and you will most likely remember the worst parts of it anyway.
It’s “alright”, not much else.