‘Great White’ Summary & Review – Fails To Build Tension


Survival films rely heavily on complicated relationships between the survivors. It requires an insightful screenplay and charismatic actors, to hold the viewers’ attention. Great White is a survival film where a few individuals stranded on a lifeboat are threatened by Great White Sharks who prey upon them. The tale depicts their efforts to survive against all odds.

‘Great White’ Summary

Two lovers, Kaz (Katrina Bowden) and Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko) run a tour company near remote islands. They provide fun-filled flights to the nearby reefs, on their seaplane. As the film begins, Kaz and Charlie are trying to keep the business afloat. They are due on the bank loans and the number of tourists is scarce. An Asian couple, Michelle and Joji book their flight to tour around Imperious Reef, also known as Hell’s reef.

Taking a cook along with them, these 5 passengers land on the remote island of Hell’s reef. Michelle shares the purpose of her visit. In 1951, a pearl lugger was shipwrecked on the reef, and out of eight crew members, only an 18-year-old Japanese driver, Saeki Morita survived. He was Michelle’s grandfather and she has come back to spread her ashes on the reef to pay the last tribute.

Before Michelle could carry out the rituals, her husband finds a decaying body on the beach. Charlie concludes that he was bitten by a great white shark, similar to one who once took a bite of his own leg. Through the dead man’s phone, Kaz learns that there could be another survivor who came with the dead man. The crew tries to find the missing girl but is soon attacked by white sharks. In the chaos, they lose their seaplane and are stranded on a lifeboat with no hope around. The two great sharks are still on the hunt threatening their survival.

The Review

While molding its premise, Great White builds necessary tension and mystery around the Reefs. Momentarily, the shark attack shapes into fear and horror but the panic subsides quickly. The middle portion of the film, a kind of playground and exploration of the character’s flaws, fails to achieve the desired impact. Dialogues weren’t striking enough and the character’s lacked depth. The only motive for the protagonist, Charlie was to safeguard his lover, Kaz who is 7 months pregnant. The pursuit was strong but the film failed to establish its urgency.

Visually, the film looks believable. The sharks VFx and action sequences are well-shot but not well-choreographed. There are little or no reasons present to convince you to watch this film.

To entertain yourself, you can re-watch Speilberg’s JAWS (if you haven’t) or the 2010 film Piranha, which is incredibly engaging and thrilling.

Great White is a 2021 survival thriller film written and directed by Martin Wilson.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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